Kyle Lydell Canty took a trip to Vancouver in September and informed the border patrol that he was just visiting for a few days. Those few days have now turned into Canty trying to get Canada to grant him asylum.
The 30-year-old spoke at his hearing last week, and IRB member Ron Yamauchi that he was in fear of his life because he’s black.
During his asylum hearing he cited the deaths of Eric Garner, Mike Brown and argued that black men in the U.S. are “being exterminated at an alarming rate”.
Although Canty was representing himself, Yamauchi commended him on his well-prepared case.
Canty submitted a significant evidence package to the IRB including videos, media reports and the UNHCR’s handbook on determining refugee status.
In order for someone to be called a refugee in Canada, they must prove they are in danger in their home country, “that you’re someone with a well-founded fear of persecution in your country, based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.” said Melissa Anderson. who speaks for the IRB.
Born in New York, Canty has lived in six different states before arriving in Canada, a country he says he’s never been to before.
He told the IRB that in every state he resided, police have harassed him and targeted him because of his race.
As part of evidence submitted to the board, Canty edited together multiple point-of-view videos of his interaction with police, including one where he was arrested for trespass in Salem, Oregon, when he spent two hours talking on the phone and using free Wi-Fi at a bus station.
“I got bothered because I’m black,” he said. “This is a history of false arrest. My name is ruined because of the false arrest.”
He described another video submitted to the IRB that shows a police car driving past him and then stopping.
Canty is currently living in a homeless shelter in Vancouver, as he awaits the decision from the Canadian government. Canada only grants 10 American citizens asylum each year.