Manitoba high court gives immigrant chance to avoid deportation

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A convicted criminal hopes one less day in jail will allow him to stay in Canada.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/07/2011 (4150 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A convicted criminal hopes one less day in jail will allow him to stay in Canada.

Joselito Rabaya Arganda has won a unique appeal that reduces his two-year sentence for cheque fraud by 24 hours.

The decision — released this week by the Manitoba Court of Appeal — will allow Arganda to fight a deportation order that would send him back to his native Philippines.

Arganda has been a permanent resident of Canada since 1995 and has racked up several convictions related to property and forgery offences.

Federal immigration officials decided last year they wanted him removed from the country on the grounds he is a menace to society. Arganda wanted to fight the move, but faced an uphill battle because the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act says a criminal can’t appeal a deportation order if they’ve been given a sentence of two years or longer.

Anything less — which would be served in a provincial jail rather than a federal penitentiary — can be contested.

With that in mind, Arganda went to the Manitoba Court of Appeal arguing his original sentence should be reduced by a day on the grounds it was “disproportionately severe” based on his unique circumstances. His lawyer argued the judge failed to consider his immigration status and was unaware of the consequences of imposing a two-year sentence.

The province’s highest court agreed.

“Proper application of sentencing principles does not demand that a fit and proper sentence be fixed in units of days, but rather in ranges more broadly determined,” Justice Al MacInnes wrote in the decision.

“There is no doubt that (the sentencing judge) could have imposed a sentence of two years less one day without doing any mischief to the sentencing principles.”

No date has been set for Arganda’s appeal of the deportation order.

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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