British Columbia

Randy Quaid's fight to stay in Canada suffers new setback

Immigration Canada has denied U.S. actor Randy Quaid's request for permanent residence status, nearly two years after the movie star said he had won his legal fight to remain in this country, CBC News has learned.
Randy and Evi Quaid claim they are being targeted by a group bent on killing famous actors. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Immigration Canada has denied U.S. actor Randy Quaid's request for permanent residence status, nearly two years after the movie star said he had won his legal fight to remain in Canada, CBC News has learned.

The federal Refugee Protection Division has also refused to let the one-time Oscar nominee reinstate a claim in which he alleged he and his wife were the target of so-called Hollywood "star-whackers."

As a result, the Quaids have now appealed to Federal Court saying their lives are still in danger.

"Organized crime and its victims are serious issues and can not be tossed off until the claim is heard," the couple stated in an application for judicial review obtained by CBC News this week.

"The refugee claims should remain intact as should Evi and Randy Quaid's heads remain attached to their necks and it is their firm belief that their lives are at stake and being racketeered on," the statement said.

The couple applied for refugee status in October 2010, claiming they were being persecuted by a cabal of lawyers and agents they said were bent on killing famous actors. They said friends such as Heath Ledger and David Carradine had died under mysterious circumstances.

Evi Quaid's father was born in Canada, giving her Canadian citizenship and the ability to sponsor her husband.

But, in an application for judicial review filed in Federal Court last week, Randy Quaid claimed an immigration officer had denied his application for permanent residence last month. The reasons were not given.

His lawyer Lorne Waldman said the officer ignored evidence. 

Legal bind

The ruling places Quaid in a bind since he withdrew his refugee claim last summer and immigration authorities are refusing to let him change his mind.

According to documents filed in a separate Federal Court file, Quaid initially asked for a guarantee he could stay in Canada before abandoning his claim.

He completed a notice of withdrawal in August 2012 but later claimed he didn't know what he was doing.

"He never intended to withdraw his refugee claim," the documents state. "His wife suffers from dyslexia and post-traumatic stress disorder and she reacted out of fear when she completed the withdrawal form."

The Quaids now claim their lives are in peril again.

"The Quaids claim is not Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Evi and Randy Quaids lives are in danger here!" they wrote, in the Federal Court appeal document, adding that, "Evi and Randy Quaid have been subjected to an injustice."

Since arriving in Vancouver, the Quaids were last reported to be house hunting in Quebec.

The couple still face felony burglary and misdemeanour counts in the U.S. for allegedly moving back into and vandalizing a home they once owned in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2009.

Both are wanted on $500,000 bench warrants. Neither has shown up for any court hearings since the criminal charges were announced shortly before they came to Canada.

The Santa Barbara district attorney had requested to have the Quaids extradited, but the U.S. Department of Justice said the offences weren't serious enough.

Randy Quaid was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Last Detail. The 62-year-old won a Golden Globe for his potrayal of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years. He's best known for roles in National Lampoon's Vacation movies, as well as Brokeback Mountain and Independence Day.

Neither Quaid nor his lawyer returned calls.