Elementary school parents in New Westminster (BC) gathered Monday night to show their support for a school family that is in danger of being deported to Mexico.
Adriana Rosales Contreras and her husband, Alberto Vargas Mendez, came to Canada 13 years ago as asylum seekers for fear for their lives, says their immigration lawyer Amanda Aziz.
Rosales Contreras was arrested by the Canadian Border Agency on November 30 after leaving her daughter at Lord Twidsmuire Elementary School, said Omar Chu of the Sanctuary Health Group.
Rosales Contreras was released shortly afterwards, but the removal process continues.
Chu said that the CBSA is continuing the process of removing Rosales Contreras և her husband, despite the fact that they have permanent applications for permanent residence and temporary residence permits.
Aziz says that the application process does not stop the removal process, the couple was asked to leave Canada by the beginning of July. If deported, they will take their Canadian-born daughter with them.
Supporters of the couple are urging Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to ensure that their applications are processed “approved” by the date of removal.
During their preliminary hearings on the refugees, the council found that the couple had taken a real risk in Mexico but had not met their refugee claim.
“What they were fleeing from were some very serious death threats, violence by organized crime groups, as well as the state’s inability to protect them,” Aziz said.
The couple did not have legal representation at the time, they did not know how to proceed with the appeal process, Aziz said. The couple, whose daughter has never been to Mexico, is trying to apply for permanent residence status.
The CBSA did not comment on the case, citing privacy concerns, but said the agency had a legal obligation to allow foreign nationals to stay in Canada without legal authority.
People who are subject to coercion have access to due process, the agency said.
New Westminster School District has a sanctuary school policy The aim is to enable school-age children to get an education without fear of having their personal information transferred to immigration authorities, regardless of their immigration status.
Chun said CBSA agents monitored the school and arrested Rosales Contreras after he left his daughter at school.
“We feel this was a huge attack on the school’s policy,” he said.
The CBSA said in a statement that “there is no legal restriction that prevents the CBSA from taking the necessary enforcement action outside the school to comply with an arrest warrant.”
Chun said the family is part of the community. During the COVID-19 epidemic, they helped provide food to needy families and volunteered at vaccine clinics.
“They should not be heroes,” Chu said. “The project is not high enough for us to come here and look for security in Canada. But they are. And it makes it even more horrible that we are in this position that we are in. ”
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