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Saturday, 28 March 2009

Jackie Tran, who has been fighting deportation since 2004, is free in Calgary

Jackie Tran, who has been fighting deportation since 2004, is free in Calgary after an immigration official again ruled that he did not break his release conditions.The Canada Border Services Agency argued on Friday that Tran, 26, was a flight risk and a danger to the public, and so should remain in custody until a decision is rendered in his deportation appeal.However, Geoff Rempel of the Immigration and Refugee Board ordered Tran, whose birth name is Tran Trong Nghi Nguyen, released from custody."Your mother's decision to move can't be held against you. You did not breach the terms and conditions," Rempel said on Friday.Calgary police allege that Tran broke the condition of his original release that required him to live with his mother in McKenzie Towne. He was arrested on Wednesday.The detention proceeding heard that Tran's mother, Laura, moved to an apartment subsidized by the Calgary Housing Company because she was preparing for the possibility her son could be deported.Jackie Tran told the board that his mother could not afford the current home they were living in if he left, so she applied for housing with the Calgary Housing Co. After months on a waiting list, she was approved for a subsidized apartment and moved to the northeast.Laura Tran also moved so she could take care of her daughter, 9. Child protection services officials had told her the girl was not allowed to live in the same residence as Jackie Tran.Tran is awaiting a decision on an appeal of a deportation order that was originally issued in 2004, after he collected two convictions for drug trafficking and one for assault with a weapon. He is a permanent resident who moved to Canada in 1993.Calgary police allege that Tran is a gang member and poses a risk to the public because of previous attempts on his life by rival gangs.
Gang investigators have testified that Tran is linked to several people who have been killed or hurt in gang-related attacks. Police believe at least 12 homicides in the city since 2002 are linked to the gang feud.Tran, who denies being part of a gang, was arrested in October for allegedly breaking his curfew at a Kensington bar, but the IRB ruled that a Calgary police officer misidentified him on the night of the supposed breach.On Friday, border services officials asked the IRB to impose extra terms and conditions on Tran's release, including:Random searches of his person, vehicle and home. Prohibition on possession of knives, unless Tran is in his home or a restaurant. A phone landline that Tran must answer if police call during his curfew of 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. However, Rempel rejected that request, saying that Tran's current conditions are working well."I'm unwilling to add any more terms and conditions including ones that would have him waiving fundamental charter rights," Rempel said. He also amended the terms so Tran no longer has to live with his mother.


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