New Brunswick

Deported man living in Fredericton homeless shelter

A New Brunswick-born man is now living in a homeless shelter after being deported back to Canada this summer despite spending his entire life in the United States.

Ron Poirier was deported from U.S. in June after 'small' legal problems

A New Brunswick-born man is now living in a homeless shelter after being deported back to Canada this summer despite spending his entire life in the United States.

Ron Poirier was born in Moncton but his family soon moved to the United States. And while he lived in Massachusetts for 60 years, he never became a U.S. citizen.

His citizenship was never an issue until he ran into legal problems this summer.

Poirier was deported by the U.S. government in June after being caught driving without a licence. Poirier had lost his licence initially for driving drunk.

While he was in jail, the State of Massachusetts shared his record, and the fact of his Canadian citizenship, with the federal Department of Homeland Security.

He had three previous convictions, including an assault and battery charge roughly 10 years ago.

The U.S. government decided because he was a Canadian citizen that he’d be sent back to the country of his birth.

"I was willing to die for that country. And look what I get in the end. This is the end right here," he said.

He said all the convictions are minor and now he's been separated from his wife, his children and his elderly parents.

With his immediate family still in the United States, Poirier does not have an immediate place to turn for help in Canada.

He said he does not have any close relatives in Canada. Poirier said he's unsure how he'll start a new life in New Brunswick and now he has no choice but to live in a Fredericton homeless shelter.

"Nowhere I can go. I came with the clothes on my back. It's not right. I've got a family," he said.

"I believe I got the raw end of the deal here. I didn't hurt nobody."

Legal problems added up

Poirier's American lawyer said there was little she could do to stop the U.S. government from deporting Poirier back to Canada.

Ragini Shah, a professor of immigration law, said she's never seen the deportation of a Canadian who has lived so long in the United States.

"He'd just been here for so long, and all his convictions were kind of small, but they added up," Shah said.

But unfortunately for Poirier, Shah said, his deportation was legal under current U.S. law.