Gangster pleads to stay in Canada
Tells hearing he's changed
By NADIA MOHARIB, SUN MEDIA
The Calgary Sun
November 21, 2008
CALGARY — Abandoned by his father and struggling to make ends meet, a man fighting deportation and identified by cops as a known gangster says he foolishly turned to crime.
But, Nghia Trong Nguyen-Tran, known as Jackie Tran, told officials at his second deportation hearing he is no longer that man.
“I've changed,” the 26-year-old testified yesterday.
“I accepted a really great responsibility for my family — I see myself as the role that I lacked when I was growing up — my family will have great hardship without me.”
Officials heard details of Tran's difficult journey from Saigon to Canada in 1993, of a teen growing up with a single mother unable to work because of injury and how he paid the mortgage.
The high school dropout said he “regrets” being lured to work as a dial-a-doper selling crack cocaine — leading to a conviction after he sold to an undercover cop.
“I was at an age where I wanted things, and that seemed to be the solution,” he said. “Life was difficult as (my mother) was unable to provide for me and I was the one assisting her.”
Canada Border Services Agency member Don Davidson questioned whether Tran became concerned when people he knew were “killed randomly on the street.”
Renee Miller, the immigration judge, pointed out 13 of Tran's friends or associates were “shot, stabbed or killed.”
Trans' mother, Laura, vowed to take him far from a world with “bad people” while begging for him to stay in Canada with her and her nine-year-old daughter.
“If you don't have any pity on me, please pity my daughter,” she said.
Dawn Ngo, his girlfriend, said Tran is a “good person,” who would do nothing to jeopardize things should he be given a reprieve. “I think now he understands what's at stake — his life in Canada,” she said.
Tran has been fighting deportation since 2004. CBSA officials, who have previously said he's a threat to public safety and at risk of rival gang violence, will bring in a gang expert when the hearing resumes next month.