A refugee from Honduras with a lengthy criminal record and history of crack cocaine addiction worked as a prostitute without telling his clients he was HIV positive, but a Federal Court judge dismissed the government’s claim he poses a danger to society, allowing him to remain in Canada.
The case of Marvin Adolfo Galvez Padilla, 46, raises questions over the risks of HIV and what constitutes dangerous behaviour in immigration and refugee law.
Among his convictions are two for assault, one in which he bit a security guard who caught him stealing, according to police, and a second where he used an umbrella to attack a store keeper who was trying to stop him stealing. He also has two convictions for cocaine trafficking; one for uttering threats; 15 for theft; seven for failure to attend court; and three for communication for the purposes of engaging in prostitution.
A federal official looked at Mr. Galvez’s 24 years in Canada and saw an accumulation of problems adding up to him being a danger to the public.
The threats and assaults, CIC found, were serious; his multiple thefts showed a pattern of recidivism compounded by his drug addiction that “can add an element of danger to any circumstance” through “volatility and sudden adverse behaviour,” declared the official, a staffer on behalf of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, referred to as a ‘‘delegate.’’
“The judge is right in suggesting there seemed to be exaggeration and unjustifiable attention paid to the fact that this particular person has HIV. There seemed an exaggerated sense of the risks of HIV transmission.”
Immigration lawyer and analyst Sergio Karas, however, said he thinks the judge got it wrong and the HIV elements became a side issue.
“It is incredible that not even 13 convictions were enough for a ‘danger’ opinion in this case, where much less has been considered sufficient in other cases,” he said.
Andrew Brouwer, lawyer for Mr. Galvez, declined to comment on the case because he did not have permission from his client.