Chilean man defies deportation, is forced into hiding for supporting mother; Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander asked to step in
Montreal, 4 August 2014 — Hector Reyes-Hidalgo has remained in Canada to care for his ailing mother despite a deportation order which would have sent him back to Chile on Saturday, August 2nd.
Mr. Reyes-Hidalgo came to Canada four years ago as a refugee but his refugee claim was refused. In the meantime his mother, Julia Hidalgo-Aguillera, a Canadian citizen, was diagnosed with ALS. Because Ms. Hidalgo-Aguillera is economically and physically dependant on her son, who is her sole care-giver, she applied to sponsor him and he also applied for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds. However, the government began deportation proceedings based on the refused refugee claim before the new applications were decided.
“He had little choice but to stay, because in reality there is no one else available to take care of Julia if he is not here,” said Noé Arteaga, who was supporting the family as they desperately tried to find a legal solution with the two levels of government prior to the looming deportation. “He has been forced into hiding for chosing his mother’s well-being over his own, for acting like a good son is supposed to do.”
“Hector and Julia did everything they were supposed to do according to Immigration Canada. A sponsorship application has been filed. Another application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds has been filed. This situation makes no sense. It is mindless bureaucracy and a hard-nosed ideology taking precedence over human lives. It is utterly pointless and cruel to separate Julia from her son and leave her without a care-giver,” added Mostafa Henaway, who helped try to find a solution for the family through regular channels.
Solidarity Across Borders calls on Federal Minister of Immigraton Chris Alexander to regularize Mr. Reyes Hidalgo’s situation without delay. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Minister Alexander must respond to inland applications for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds like Mr. Reyes-Hidalgo’s. Minister Alexander would be able to read and respond to Mr. Reyes’ humanitarian application very rapidly, allowing Hector to quickly return to his mother.
While Mr. Hector Reyes-Hidalgo is in hiding, awaiting a response from the government, friends of the family have organized an emergency rotation to take care of Julia in the short-term.
Solidarity Across Borders: