In the News June 26
Stop the Deportations! Status For All!
Petition to Stop Deportation of Vangie and McKenna Rose Cayanan
Migrante Alberta is carrying out a petition campaign to Stop the Deportation of Vangie (Evangeline) and McKenna Cayanan, and is calling on the Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) Sean Fraser to stop their deportation, and grant them permanent resident status through their pending humanitarian and compassionate application.
Vangie and McKenna Rose are scheduled for deportation to the Philippines on July 11, 2022. Despite her undocumented status Vangie has been a tireless advocate for the rights of migrant workers and the rights of their children. Speaking to Workers’ Forum, she said “I am not hiding. I am not a criminal. I have done nothing wrong. I am using my voice to speak out. Otherwise, how will people know what is taking place?”
The petition, which currently has almost 3800 signatures, explains that McKenna, who was born in Canada, is a Canadian citizen and has lived here all her life, has medical conditions that require special attention, special needs education, and minimal stress. She will not be able to receive the medical and educational support she needs if she and her mother are deported.
Vangie, McKenna’s mom, has lived in Canada for more than 12 years. Vangie along with her organization Migrante organized the McKenna Rose Campaign, a public campaign for Canadian born children of undocumented parents to access health care in Alberta. The campaign was successful and many children have been able to access health care as a result from 2017 to the present. For her tireless work and advocacy Vangie received a Human Rights Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Now the federal government is tearing McKenna away from the health care she needs.
Vangie has also spoken out to shine a light on the necessity for regularization of undocumented workers. As a temporary foreign worker, Vangie was harassed, abused and assaulted by her employers. She stood up for her rights, and as a result her employers used her but failed to keep their promise to support her application for permanent residency. Like many others, she became undocumented, and despite her deep roots in Canada, the federal government has cruelly ordered her deportation.
At a press conference held on June 16, many people from the community spoke up to demand that the Ministers intervene to stop the deportation and that the application for status on compassionate and humanitarian grounds be granted. They spoke about Vangie’s contributions to the community, as well as Canada’s responsibility to act in the best interests of children. McKenna’s teacher and social worker spoke out about the child’s needs and why the appeal should be granted. Their lawyer also provided arguments about Canada’s responsibilities as a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. A family friend spoke about the indifference and inhumanity of the Canadian Border Services Agency, who told Vangie that she could leave McKenna behind to be placed in the foster care system.
Clarizze Truscott, First Vice-Chair of Migrante Canada, concluded by stating that what is revealed by the IRCC decision is that migrant worker programs are setting people up to be ineligible for permanent residency. Stricter rules and new requirements are making it so difficult for so many people to achieve permanent status and citizenship. This vicious cycle of using, abusing and discarding people must end, she said.
It must not pass! No one is illegal! Stop the deportations! Permanent residency status for all now! It’s a matter of human dignity!
What you can do:
– Send a letter to the Ministers right now. Ask your friends, co-workers and family to send a letter and pass it on to ten others. Time is running out and they need to hear from you. Join us to stop the deportations and demand full and permanent immigration status for all migrants. To send a letter, click here.
– Donate to the Vangie and McKenna Support Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workers’ Forum, posted June 28, 2022.