Justice for Juana Tejada

Below is Migrante Ontario’s statement on the Canadian Government’s decision to kick out OFW Juana Tejada in order for her to die in the Philippines.

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We condemn the decision of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) not to grant permanent resident status to Juana Tejada on the ground of her terminal illness. This is a gross violation of the basic human right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Juana came to Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program in the hope that she and her family would have a better life. Grinding poverty and unemployment in the Philippines push over 2000 Filipinos out of the country every day.

After twenty-four months of serving Canadian society thru domestic work, Juana is now eligible to apply for permanent residency. But since 2006 when her cancer was first discovered in a medical exam for her application for permanent residence, CIC continues to deny Juana her right to stay in Canada. A CIC case of_cer argues that her “health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand to health and social services,” and thus, an economic burden to the Canadian government.

Migrante-Ontario, along with other concerned groups, organizations, and individuals, demands that the Canadian government allow Juana Tejada to stay, and to sponsor and bring her family over to Canada. In the frst place, caregivers should have been given permanent residency status, recognizing the importance and high quality of their service to Canadian society, and the continuing high demand for that service.

Juana Tejada fulflled the requirements, stringent as they are, set in the LCP. She worked in the service of a Canadian family and all in good faith. That she fell ill was not of her own will. All she wanted was to be able to bring her family over, be reunited with them and together share the fruits of her hard work.

Yet the Tejada case and other similar ones clearly demonstrate how the Canadian government treats migrant and foreign temporary workers. While enticing cheap labour from crisis-ridden countries like the Philippines to sustain its own economic progress, it is quick to dispose of those that it considers “damaged goods” after the system has bled them dry.

And as the right to life includes the right to medical care, Migrante-Ontario insists that the Canadian government continue to provide Juana Tejada, as it would its own citizens,the proper medical service and health care especially in her time of great need.

Justice for Juana Tejada!

No to deportation

Permanent residence now!

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