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Greater Toronto Area track star, family facing deportation to Jamaica given 1-year reprieve to stay in Canada

A GTA track star and his family who were facing imminent deportation to Jamaica have been given a one-year reprieve to stay in Canada.

York University student-athlete Tamarri Lindo is one of the country’s top-ranked hurdlers at the collegiate level and won a bronze medal at the U SPORTS track and field championship in March.

He also finished third in the 110 metre hurdles at an Athletics Canada meet in Montreal in June.

READ MORE: He had dreams of running for Canada in the Olympics, then he learned his family would be deported

Oakville’s Lindo family, father George (centre), mother Jillandre, 20-year-old Tamarri (right), 14-year-old Tameah, 12-year-old Tamarli, and five-year-old Tameliah were facing deportation to Jamaica on July 10, but have been granted a one-year reprieve.

Family fled to Canada in 2019 amid safety concerns

George and Jillandre Lindo along with their three children, Tamarri, Tameah and Tamarli, fled to Canada in April 2019 amid safety concerns.

The Lindos welcomed another daughter, Tameliah, five years ago. She is a Canadian citizen.

Their initial asylum claim, which was provided to CTV News, outlines a history of alleged violence against George beginning in 2012. He attributed this violence to his affiliation with Jamaica’s opposition party.

In the claim, George said that his neck was slashed during that year’s Jamaican election while he was attempting to disperse a crowd that had gathered outside his home.

He also believes he may have also been the target of a botched assassination attempt in 2016 after a man was gunned down in the same seat at a bar where he was sitting just moments prior.

And then in 2019, George says he was followed by two men brandishing guns.

After that incident, he told CTV News said that he decided to take his family and flee to Canada until the “situation cooled down.”

The family’s latest asylum claim from more than a year ago was based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, but was ultimately denied.

The family’s lawyer Aidan Simardone told that in the IRCC’s pre-removal risk assessment from March 2023 an unnamed senior immigration officer determined that they did not believe that the Lindos would experience “substantial hardship” if they were sent back to Jamaica.

“Children’s lives are at risk, plus Jamaica is dealing with the aftermath of a major hurricane,” Simardone said. “There’s a lot to this case.”

About a month ago, Simardone began the process of requesting a judicial review of that decision, which he said was based on the assertion that “major mistakes” were made and that the officer failed to “sufficiently consider the interests of the children” and made no assessment of Tamarri’s situation.

In the interim, there was nothing stopping the federal government from deporting the Lindos, who were originally expected to report to Pearson for removal on May 24.

On May 16, Immigration officials extended that deadline by 30 days so the children could finish the school year, however the family learned in late June that their deportation date was set for July 10.

Oldest son Tamarri spoke with late last week about the journey he and his family have been through over the last five years as they have tried to seek asylum in Canada and the fears they have if they’re sent back to Jamaica.

“It’s not a safe place. … I do fear death, to be honest. I also fear for my youngest sister and my brother who has some special needs,” said the 20-year-old student of the possibility of being deported to Jamaica.

Lindo spent the first 15 years of his life in Jamaica, but attended high school in Canada before enrolling at York.

Deportation “not taken lightly,” says IRCC

In a statement issued prior to the last-minute decision to grant the Lindo family temporary resident permanents, a spokesperson for the office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said they cannot not comment on individual cases due to privacy laws.

However, they did indicate that the decision to remove someone from Canada is “not taken lightly.”

“Every individual facing removal is entitled to due process, but once all avenues to appeal are exhausted, they are removed from Canada in accordance with Canadian law,” Aissa Diop wrote in an email to

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) also provided a written statement to, but did not comment specifically on the case.

Spokesperson Luke Reimer did say that the CBSA takes multiple steps to “ensure procedural fairness and the CBSA only actions a removal order once all legal avenues of recourse that can stay a removal have been exhausted.”

He added that CBSA officers have “limited discretion” when it comes to temporarily deferring removal in exceptional circumstances, like allowing additional time for children to finish their school year or attend a scheduled medical appointment in cases involving minor children.

“Individuals being removed from Canada have either exhausted, or chosen not to pursue, further legal recourse and have no legal right to remain in Canada. The timely removal of inadmissible individuals plays a critical role in supporting the integrity of Canada’s immigration system, and Section 48(2) of the IRPA states that enforceable removal orders must be enforced as soon as possible,” he said.

“Each deferral request is assessed individually based on the totality of circumstances,” he said.

With files from CTV News’ Judy Trinh

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