Jimi Sandhu, who has lived in Canada since age 7, told an immigration hearing late last year that he has left behind his criminal lifestyle and should be not be deported to his native India. But this week, Sandhu lost an appeal of the removal order by the Immigration and Refugee Board issued after a string of convictions and interactions with police.
VANCOUVER – While former Indo-Canadian gangster Jimi Sandhu, alleged to be a violent gang associate, beat the rap last this year after a murder charge against him was stayed, but the federal government still wants him thrown out of the country for his criminal past.
But this week, Sandhu lost an appeal of the removal order by the Immigration and Refugee Board issued after a string of convictions and interactions with police.
Sandhu has been ordered deported to India even though he left his birth country as a seven-year-old to live with relatives in B.C., reported Vancouver Sun
Sandhu testified at a hearing in December that he was a changed man who had left his gang associates behind, moved to Edmonton, got married and was opening a business.
But Immigration Appeal Division member Maryanne Kingma said she was unconvinced that Sandhu had changed as much as he claimed, reported the Sun.
“The totality of the available evidence fails to show that the appellant has made meaningful or actual efforts to change a long history of negative behaviour. Consequently, the likelihood of rehabilitation is a factor that weighs substantially against the appeal for special relief,” Kingma said in her written reasons.
But Sandhu and his supporters say he’s just a guy who’s made a few bad choices that shouldn’t cost him his future in Canada.
Sandhu, 26, is appealing an order by the Immigration and Refugee Board to deport him to his native India because of his criminal history, reported the Vancouver Sun.
Sandhu, who has lived in Canada since age 7, told an immigration hearing late last year that he has left behind his criminal lifestyle and should be not be deported to his native India.
Sandhu came to Canada at the age of seven, adopted by his grandmother as his mom in Punjab wanted him to have more opportunities.
Sandhu said he felt alienated by other family members in Abbotsford who didn’t like how his grandmother doted on him, reported the Sun.
He started smoking pot and drinking in Grade 9, getting into trouble in school and later with the police.
“I was hanging around with the wrong crowd. I was hanging around with people who were partying, getting into fights,” he testified.
Some had gang links. Some were selling drugs, he admitted as two Vancouver police officers provided security at the hearing in downtown Vancouver.
He denied murdering Red Scorpion gang leader Matt Campbell in January 2014. He was charged with second-degree murder a month after the fatal stabbing, but that charge was stayed in February 2015 and Sandhu was released from custody, reported the Sun.
Sandhu’s many run-ins with the law include two convictions for assaulting people with weapons to which he pleaded guilty. The first occurred in March 2010 and the pregnant victim told police Sandhu had broken into her home, knocked her to the ground and threatened her with brass knuckles.
He admitted that he has had friends in the Dhak-Duhre and United Nations gangs.
“I know that path is either go to jail or you die,” he said of his criminal life.
But Sandhu said that once he met his future wife, a law student, he knew he wanted to change his path, reported the Sun.
Kingma said that while Sandhu’s wife appears to be a positive influence in his life, they only married in August 2015 and live in different provinces.
The couple started dating just weeks before Sandhu was charged with second-degree murder for the January 2014 slaying of Red Scorpion gang leader Matt Campbell in Abbotsford. The charge was stayed in February 2015 and Sandhu was released from jail, reported the Sun.
Kingma said neither Sandhu nor his wife “provided credible explanations for the decision to get married when they did or why they got married far away from family and community and in a small, civil event, in a province where they were not and would not be cohabiting until 2017 at the earliest.”
Kingma also rejected Sandhu’s argument that he would not be able to adapt to life in India.
“It was not established that there would be undue hardship to the appellant upon removal to his country of nationality. He would have to adjust given that he has lived in Canada for much of his life but he has family in India and is familiar with the customs and language,” she said.