*UPDATE* – THE MONTOYA FAMILY IS STAYING IN CANADA!
December 17, 2018
The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Re: Montoya Family Christmas Eve Deportation Order
We are writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association, a non-for-profit organization representing the interests of Latin American and Hispanic lawyers, National Committee on Accreditation candidates, Foreign Legal Consultants, articling students, Law Practice Program candidates, and law students across Canada.
We are writing further to the Twitter messages and voicemails left at your offices on December 14, 2018 regarding the pending deportation of Camilo, Bettsy, Martin, Thomas, Henry, Dora, and Luisa Montoya. Their story was featured last week on Global News and other media outlets – https://globalnews.ca/news/4751451/family-canada-deported-christmas-eve/.
We have been in touch with the Montoya family and their lawyer. We acknowledge that the family’s asylum claim was recently rejected on account of the Immigration and Refugee Board’s five-year delay in hearing their case. The Refugee Board found that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is longer a threat, despite evidence that FARC members continue to attend the Montoyas’ former home to inquire about the family’s whereabouts. We understand that the family has an outstanding spousal sponsorship application as well as other pending applications to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. We also understand that the Montoya family members are model members of their community and own property and small businesses in Canada.
In our view, the current order to deport the Montoya family is unfair and unjust, given the government delays in hearing the family’s asylum case and the family’s other pending proceedings. Moreover, the Montoyas have already been living in Canada for six (6) years and have demonstrated their ability to be contributing members of Canadian society.
At a time when our community appears to be increasingly under attack by the federal government in the United States, it is more important than ever that the Canadian government show its support for Canada’s Latin American and Hispanic community. For this reason, we strongly urge you to stay and/or rescind Canada’s current deportation order against the Montoya family.
We wish you a happy holiday season and thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.
Yours very truly,
Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA)
CC: The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, House of Commons
The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, House of Commons
Senator Rosa Galvez, House of Commons