Guinean family set to be deported can call Canada home now
Published Saturday, October 20, 2012 6:28PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 20, 2012 6:36PM EDT
A family of six from Guinea will be allowed to stay in Canada permanently after nearly being deported four times.
Kankou Keita Mansare and her five children, who have been living in Laval since 2007, were told Friday that Immigration Canada would allow them to stay on humanitarian grounds.
The family fled the West African country and sought refugee status due to conditions in their homeland.
Their request to stay was denied.
Keita Mansare said she was especially worried about what would happen to her daughters, who she said would have faced genital mutilation and forced marriages in Guinea.
“That's the way it is in my country,” she said. “There's nothing I could have done about it.”
Additionally, the woman’s 17-year-old daughter Zenabe suffers from hyperthyroidism, a condition which requires special medical attention.
“I take the medication and all is good, but if I was in Africa, it would be different,” she said, explaining that she would not receive the care she requires.
After a federal court ruling, the family was due to be deported in the spring. After attracting widespread media attention, the deportation was delayed repeatedly.
In one case, Zenabe fell ill at the airport and had to be rushed away on a stretcher. In another last-minute turn of events, the children couldn't travel because they didn't have passports.
Ultimately, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney intervened, using his discretionary powers to suspend the deportation and allow a re-assessment of the case. Now, he's agreed to give the family permanent residency.
The family was thrilled, but the ongoing uncertainty took a toll on the mother of five, said 20-year-old son Ousmane Mansare.
“Before, she was always stressed, and worried about what the response would be from Immigration Canada. it wasn't stable,” he said.
With the uncertainly over, the Mansare family is looking forward to taking their next steps.
“In a couple of weeks, we have to go to immigration to get all documents to sign and get permanent resident cards,” explained the Mansare family’s lawyer, Salif Samgare.
The family can apply for Canadian citizenship in two years, said Samgare.