Out of options, Laval family faces deportation to Mexico
Published Wednesday, December 26, 2012 10:06PM EST
MONTREAL—A Laval family could be spending its last night at their home. They'll find out if they face deportation to Mexico on Thursday at the end of a four-year legal battle to stay in Canada.
Having run out of options, the Mendez-Reyes family had a somber Christmas as they fear for their lives if they return to their native Mexico. On Wednesday, they were packing their belongings, preparing for a judge’s order to have them detained the day after Boxing Day.
“I want to study here. I want to go to college. I want to be here with my family because Mexico is too dangerous,” said Ingrid Reyes, one of the family’s two teenage children.
Having spent five years in Quebec going to school and planning a future, the teenagers say they would be crushed if forced to leave.
Marisol Mendez says her husband, Ferando Reyes, was abducted three times in Mexico before the family fled to Canada in 2008
According to Medez, corrupt Mexican police officers threatened to kill him if he fingered allegedly corrupt officials in the government.
He escaped his captors and the family says it was all a mistake—he didn’t know any corrupt officials. The family just wanted to continue running their taco restaurant and printmaking shop.
“The third time my dad was abducted I was with him and I don’t want it to happen again,” said Eduardo Reyes.
According to Quebec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir, a newly passed federal law, Bill C-31, is cold-hearted as it forces refugee claimants to leave Canada while appealing their refusal on humanitarian grounds.
“The kids have grown up here, have learned French and have been well-integrated into Quebec society, in their neighborhood and in their church,” said Khadir.
Canada's foreign affairs department recognizes that some areas of Mexico are very dangerous.
The Mendez-Reyes parents are working, teaching Sunday school and contributing to Canada. Khadir said the Conservative government's law isn’t flexible for individual cases.
“There is a logic which is a logic of law and order which applies without wisdom,” said the MNA.
The family's last hope may lie with an immigration judge. A hearing set for Thursday morning could set a date to force them out in a few weeks or it could grant the family a reprieve and allow them to continue living among friends and in safety in Canada.
Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney testifies at a Senate committee on refugee Bill C-31 in Ottawa on Monday, June 18, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)