“There’s killers out there — there are people out there who do worse things I do,” said Saeed Jama, who spoke with CBC News last week from the Edmonton Remand Centre.
Jama, 23, was born in Saudi Arabia to Somali parents and raised in Canada, living in Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton.
As a teen, Jama was caught selling drugs. He was convicted of possession with the intent to traffic in Winnipeg in October 2010 and sentenced to 27 months in prison.
The sentence derailed his efforts to obtain Canadian citizenship.
When he was released, he began to change his life, he said.
He began volunteering at the Alberta Somali Community Centre, got a job and stopped selling and using drugs, Jama said.
“It is a crime, okay? You know I’m hurting people with drugs. But I’m looking at how I changed and everything. I’ve changed from who I used to be.”
Nevertheless the government told him last year he was to be deported to Somalia, the country of his parents’ origin. He was scheduled to be on a plane last July, but he failed to show up at the airport.
Jama went underground, running for about five months before Edmonton police stopped him at a routine traffic check last month.
Since then, he has been in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre, awaiting deportation to a country the Canadian government currently advises against all travel to as “the security situation … is extremely volatile and the threat of domestic terrorism is high.”
Jama’s mother, Khadro Mohamed, fears for her son’s life.
“I really worry. The country almost more than 20 years didn’t have a government. His safety and security — he’s in danger I feel.”
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney would not comment on the case, but a spokesperson said in a statement, “If this criminal did not want to face deportation upon his release from prison, he should not have chosen a life of violent crime.”
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