Depending on who you speak to, the case of Abdoul Abdi will be told through one of two frameworks.
One: that Abdoul Abdi is a convicted criminal recently released from a four year prison sentence stemming from charges including aggravated assault.
Two: that Abdoul Abdi is being unfairly persecuted by a system that has largely failed him.
I myself fall under option two. Abdoul Abdi, now 23 and originally from Somalia, entered Canada as a refugee along with his aunts and sister at the age of 6.
He was soon removed from the care of his aunts and separated from his sister, to be placed in the care of the Nova Scotia government and a rotating door of foster homes--31 in total. He experienced abuse at the hands of some of his foster parents and was homeless by the time he was a teenager. Throughout all of this, action was never taken by the government to ensure he applied for the citizenship he was entitled to. I doubt he even knew he was eligible.
Bringing us to today.
Because Abdoul Abdi is not a citizen, even after living in Canada nearly all of his life, and because he committed a serious crime, he now faces deportation back to Somalia. A country he does not remember and that speaks a language he does not know. A country without friends or family. A country his sister believes will kill him.
No one (I don't think) is disagreeing that he committed a crime, but that's also not the point. Every day, a Canadian somewhere in the country commits some sort of violent crime. When they are caught, they are punished; When they are punished, they serve their punishment; When they complete their punishment, they have repaid their debt to society and are allowed to return to their lives. They are not sent away to a place they've never known. This isn't the colonization of Australia.
Abdoul Abdi committed a crime, but he did his time. He does not deserve to be removed from the country by the same government system that failed him so profoundly. #FreeAbdoulAbdi