TORONTO — Oscar-nominated actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi may face something of a Catch 22 in their now infamous claim for asylum in Canada.
At a bizarre immigration hearing in Vancouver last week, the couple declared they were seeking refugee status north of the border for fear of being murdered in the United States by “Hollywood star whackers.”
At the same time, the Quaids are due to appear in a Santa Barbara court next week on felony vandalism charges and their U.S. lawyer has said he expects them to show.
The situation places the Quaids in a peculiar conundrum, one likely to come to a head as the couple appears at another immigration hearing in Vancouver on Thursday.
Refugee law expert Audrey Macklin says any refugee claim by the Quaids would essentially fail if the couple were to make their California court appearance next week.
“If they make a refugee claim in Canada and then return to the country where they say they have a well-founded fear of persecution and then try to come back to Canada to resume their refugee claim — I don’t think that it’s going to go very far,” she said.
The University of Toronto law professor added that U.S. warrants, particularly on felony charges, wouldn’t help the Quaids’ Canadian case.
“If they’re the subject of a warrant in the United States, there might be a basis for saying they might be inadmissable to Canada,” she said.
After a Santa Barbara court hearing on Tuesday, senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter made it clear that the U.S. warrants for the Quaids — which prompted their arrest in Vancouver to begin with — remain outstanding.