Let Lucy Stay: Growing Movement of Support for Undocumented Single Mother Facing Deportation in Two Days
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MONTREAL, March 25, 2018 — A growing movement of support for Lucy Francineth Granados is calling on Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to “let Lucy stay.” Granados, a single mother, worker and community organizer, who has lived in Montreal for 9 years, faces deportation in two days. She is currently detained at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre.
“It breaks my heart to see how Lucy has been treated and the violence she has experienced and still faces,” said Lucy’s aunt, Yecenia Granados. “After all she has gone through … Lucy has built a life here, she has family here, and her kids need her to be here. Minister Hussen and Minister Goodale, where is your humanity?”
Granados submitted an application for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds in September 2017. On Friday, Granados filed an emergency application for a stay of deportation until her humanitarian application is determined.
“According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Canada has signed, the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all decisions affecting children,” according to Richard Goldman, lawyer, Coordinator of the Committee to Aid Refugees, and spokesperson for the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI).
“The application for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds is the only immigration procedure where the best interest of the child is examined. It is also the only procedure which allows non status people to regularize their immigration status in Canada. Consequently, the TCRI strongly supports a stay of deportation for Ms Granados until a decision is taken on her humanitarian application,” added Goldman.
“It seems it was Lucy’s very attempt to regularize her status that placed her and her children’s lives in jeopardy. The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) wasn’t looking for her until she appealed to the state on humanitarian grounds. The message is clear: you can stay as an exploitable worker and woman. But as soon as you ask to be treated as a human, as an equal, you will be hunted down and deported.” said William van Driel of Solidarity Across Borders.
“As feminists, we will not allow Lucy to be treated as disposable. Lucy is someone who has courageously advocated for the rights of undocumented women, and now she has been targeted for deportation. We cannot allow that to happen,” agreed Caroline Jacquet of the Fédération des femmes du Québec (FFQ), calling on Quebec Minister of Immigration David Heurtel to intervene with his federal colleagues.
“We demand an independent inquiry into the excessive force used by the four CBSA agents who arrested Lucy in her home on March 20th and injured her arm. We also call for an investigation into the actions of the CBSA agent who made a false representation in an attempt to entrap her in January of this year.” added van Driel.
The arrest took place despite Montreal’s adoption of a "Sanctuary City" policy last year and has brought down a storm of criticism on Montreal mayor Valerie Plante. On Friday, Mayor Plante finally broke her silence.
“Mayor Plante’s statement was very disappointing. We need Mayor Plante to publicly support Lucy now, not find excuses. This is what we expect from her as our Mayor and as a feminist; support all Montrealers and all women,” said Viviana Medina, a community organizer with the Immigrant Workers Centre.
Lucy originally left Guatemala after being threatened by the maras (criminal gangs). She traveled alone through Mexico on the infamous La Bestia train to the US and later to Canada, her husband having died. Lucy has made Montreal her home for the last nine years and is known in her community as an advocate for the rights of undocumented migrants and temporary workers. She is the sole supporter of her three children.
Viviana Medina, Centre des travailleurs et travailleuses immigrant.e.s: 438-881-9174
William van Driel, Solidarity Across Borders: 514-894-2455
2009 Lucy arrived in Canada and made a refugee claim.
2012 Lucy’s refugee claim was refused and a deportation date set. She stayed in Montreal; an arrest warrant was issued for her as an undocumented migrant.
2017 In September, Lucy filed an application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds.
2018 On 17 January, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada began to process her file.
On 26 January, Lucy’s lawyer received a phone call from a CBSA officer. He said that Lucy’s file would not be processed unless she presented herself to be arrested.
On 8 February, Lucy’s lawyer informed CBSA and IRCC that, by law, the Minister has an unconditional obligation to examine H&Cs, and that Lucy should not be required to present herself to CBSA as a precondition for the processing of her application. She has received no response.
On 20 March at 6am, Lucy was violently arrested inside her home by CBSA officers. She was brought to Laval Immigration Detention Centre.
On 22 March, Lucy had a detention review hearing, with Federation des femmes du Québec President Gabrielle Bouchard offering to be a bondsperson for her release. CBSA told the presiding board member that Lucy would be deported on 27 March. The board member ruled that Lucy would stay in detention until her deportation.