Mexican family's refugee claim denied: deportation ordered for Sunday
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012 2:31PM EDT
A Mexican woman and her two sons are spending their last days in Montreal, after the federal government ordered them deported from Canada.
Blanca Pena Gonzalez says she fled Mexico five years ago to get out of an abusive relationship. She's been living in Canada ever since and has married a Canadian citizen.
However her application to remain in Canada as a refugee has been denied. "It's hurting me a lot," said Pena Gonzalez.
If the deportation order is not rescinded, Pena Gonzalez and her children will have to return to Mexico and wait for immigration officials to process the paperwork to allow her to enter Canada as someone sponsored by a Canadian.
Her family's Immigration consultant says the government isn't respecting its own policy when it comes to protecting a family's right to unification.
"This policy says that Canada is going to respect family unification or reunification, and they are violating this part of the policy," said Carlos Hoyos Tello.
Pena Gonzalez fears for the safety of her children if they return to Mexico, but Citizenship and Immigration Canada remains firm in its decision, saying that to be determined a refugee "one must be at risk of torture, death, or cruel and unusual treatment and punishment if returned to their home country."
The crown agency has determined that despite Pena Gonzalez's claims of abuse, that is an unlikely fate.
"I want to be here for my kids, to have a good future for them," said Pena Gonzalez.
The boys who have learned both English and French have grown to appreciate their new home.
"I will miss Quebec, Canada, because countries like this... there are not a lot in this world," said Damien Pena.
The family's neighbours cannot believe the decision made the government.
Pena Gonzalez has been working as a housekeeper and babysitter, and neighbours say she's an integral part of their community
"She's got the beginnings of a great immigrant story. She'd be the best immigrant that Canada could have," said Donna Motz.
Until she leaves Pena Gonzalez is relying on her neighbours to keep her spirits up.
"I believe that people help just because they love you. It's not for money. It's just from their heart," she said.
And she vows that she will do everything she can to return.