More than a dozen people lined Clearbrook Road Wednesday afternoon outside Abbotsford MP Ed Fast’s office to protest a deportation order handed to a mother and her two children.
The mother (the News isn’t disclosing her name) said she fled to Canada four years ago with her two sons to escape the father of her youngest child, whom they say is abusive.
The family’s refugee claim has since been turned down after the Canadian government deemed that the family “would not be subject to risk of persecution, danger of torture, risk to life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment” if they returned to their home country.
The mother says she is afraid for her son’s well-being if the family returns to Hungary. She also says she is likely to go to jail for taking her son from his father.
The mother works at Sevenoaks shopping centre, and many of those waving signs Wednesday were co-workers.
Sevenoaks general manager Wendy Schultz said the family has flourished in Canada, with the boys attending local schools and the mother employed and self-sufficient.
“Canada can’t send them back to an abusive environment,” Schultz said. “Based on the rejection of their application, where [Citizenship and Immigration Canada] stated they didn’t feel that they were at risk … given the information that [the mother] has provided, this is not true.”
The mother’s oldest son, who was at Wednesday’s demonstration, said the family was pleased to receive such support.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I feel glad that they care about us.”
The mother, though, remained frightened about the prospect of returning to Hungary.
“I’m so scared,” she said.
In a written statement, a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) spokesperson says the agency “has a statutory obligation to remove any person that has been issued a removal order for violating the Act. The decision to remove someone from Canada is not taken lightly.”
The statement said “The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that removal orders must be enforced as soon as possible. The CBSA is firmly committed to doing so. “
After denied applicants exhaust all appeals, they are expected to leave or will be removed, the statement says.