A member of the Lev Tahor community pleads with a Canadian Border Services Agency Officer. Photo taken on April 2, 2014 by Ashton Patis.

Sect Fights CAS And Immigration

Members of the Lev Tahor community are in a Chatham court this afternoon hoping to get seven children released from the care of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services.

Children of the ultra-orthodox Jewish sect were apprehended in Central America and Calgary last month and placed in Jewish foster homes in the Toronto area. They fled the country after an Ontario judge upheld a Quebec court order forcing 14 children from the sect into foster care based on allegations of forced marriages, child brides and abuse.

Meanwhile, Immigration Lawyer Guidy Mamann says three Lev Tahor members in Canada on religious worker visas are fighting deportation to Israel.

“People who are here on religious worker visas are not considered to be doing ‘work’ because it’s of a religious nature,” says Mamann. “They’re actually issued a visitor record that allows them to work in a religious setting for years on end.”

Yochana Lavar, a 19-year-old father of three, will be sent back to Israel on April 10. Avraham Kashani, a 40-year-old father of ten, and Odel Malka, a 31 year-old mother of nine, have both also been ordered to leave Canada. Mamann says additional Immigration Review Board hearings are scheduled for Friday.

Mamann notes in total, seven Lev Tahor members have immigration issues. Six were apprehended by the Canada Border Services Agency in Chatham-Kent last week. One has since been sent back to the United States and is banned from returning to Canada for one year. The two others have been released.