Mexican woman fighting deportation, struggling to regain custody of son
Published Monday, February 3, 2014 12:55PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 3, 2014 9:58PM EST
A Mexican woman whose refugee claim was refused will be in court Tuesday in an attempt to delay her deportation and regain custody of her son.
Ivonne Hernandez, 41, arrived in Montreal in 2009 and asked to be granted refugee status because she said she was abused by a police officer in her hometown of Mexico City.
By 2011, when her claim was refused, Hernandez had met and married a Canadian and was pregnant.
Soon after her claim was refused she sought help from a women's shelter and made a claim of domestic abuse against her spouse.
She has since lost custody of her son, in part because of her lack of legal status in Canada.
Alexa Conradi, president of the Quebec Federation of Women, said it's outrageous that the federal government is sending Hernandez back to Mexico.
"This is a classic case of not really wanting to support the women," said Conradi.
"What's ironic is this government goes to international forums saying all the things they want to do for women, but when it comes to concrete cases like this they do nothing."
She is afraid of how people will read into the government’s actions.
“I'm terrified by the message they're sending,” Conradi said. “Which is if you have a precarious status here in Canada and you're a victim of violence you're going to get punished if you denounce the violence.”
Hernandez's next date in her custody battle is on March 6, long after she is supposed to be removed from this country.
“Now my baby is paying the consequences – he’s so small, 13 months old,” she said. “At that age, he just needs him Mom.”
Lawyer Stewart Istvanffy will be in court Tuesday to seek to delay the deportation.
“Normally these types of cases are supposed to take place in the country where both parents have been living with the baby so if they dump her in Mexico she has no rights to her baby and she may never see the baby again,” said Istvanffy.
As of right now, her deportation is scheduled for Friday.
Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. a demonstration is set to take place outside the Federal court, as Hernandez sits inside and asks permission to stay in the country long enough to attend a custody hearing for her son.