Mexican Cuapantecatl Hernandez family expelled –

Mexican Cuapantecatl-Hernandez family expelled –

The Mexican Cuapantecalt-Hernandez family, who lived in Plessisville, were deported from Canada on December 28th.

Despite their attempts to gain residency in Canada, the couple and their two children had no choice but to leave the country.

According to members of this family, returning to Mexico poses a threat to their safety. Professional restaurateurs say their safety is at risk from drug cartels. For this reason, they have attempted to take steps with Immigration Canada to obtain a reprieve, even if only temporarily.

Luc Berthold, MP for Mégantic-L'érable and deputy leader of the official opposition in the lower house, addressed a request to Immigration Minister Marc Miller on December 15. He requested that the family be given more time to complete the permanent residency process, but to no avail. Regrettably, Cabinet informed us that the Minister did not intend to grant this request for a stay and that the family would therefore be evicted on Thursday.

3 people in front of a snow slope.

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The Cuapantecatl-Hernandez family enjoys the winter.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Courtesy of Marie-Lyne Dubois

The Cabinet's decision not to grant the request sparked an outcry among residents of the Cuapantecalt-Hernandez family's neighborhood. The French teacher of the family's eldest child, Marie-Lyne Dubois, disapproves of this exclusion. I was devastated by this news. I think we could have at least given this family a reprieve, some time to finish the school year. These are children who had many needs. I think they were shown a great lack of humanity.

This teacher, who knew the Mexican family well as she had worked with them during their stay in Plessisville, tried to support them in this step. They were also invited to Christmas dinner on December 26th. It was beautiful, they were curious, they were interested, they were still learning a lot of words in French. They asked questions about our traditions, she emphasized, touchingly.

I also know that Ms. Hernandez's employer desperately wants her to come back. “He told me that he would try to take a different route and apply for her as a worker with a work permit,” the French teacher added.

A family in fear

According to the Immigration and Refugee Service's Refugee Appeal Division, the applicants have not adequately demonstrated that their safety is at risk. The organization therefore comes to the conclusion that refuge in Mexico is still possible.

I didn't talk to them in person, we sent each other text messages. I know that they are back, that they are with their parents because they no longer had anything of their own there.

Deadlines that make you react

I'm sad but angry at the same time because the family has been in Canada since 2019. It took almost five years before we finally had answers. How can we humanely tolerate such long delays when we know that the family will ultimately be evicted? How can we enable people to experience this? These people integrated, learned French, and were accepted. The community wanted to keep them and unfortunately they returned to Mexico today, complains Luc Berthold.

Remember that the family's parents have been in Canada since 2019 and that their children joined them in 2021 as they were stuck in Mexico due to the pandemic. The young people therefore lived with their grandparents while they waited to arrive in Canada.

The Cuapantecatl-Hernandez family and the residents of Plessisville.

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The Cuapantecatl-Hernandez family participated in several activities with members of their community.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Courtesy of Marie-Lyne Dubois

The Mégantic-L'érable member adds that we even heard: “Listen, we can't save them all.” I found it very unfortunate to hear such comments because we talk about people and we forget that the whole process. These are workers who come to help our companies, who come here hoping for a better life and in the end they are sent home. This needs to be corrected.

A shock for children

Marie-Lyne Dubois finds it difficult to witness this displacement and feels helpless in the face of the situation. These children came here by parachute and learned French. They fell far behind in school. It's so nice to see the journey they've made, but hearing them say, “We're being sent home,” is very difficult.

As of August 2021, MPs' offices had processed 15,000 applications for Canadian Immigration Service assistance for citizens experiencing immigration problems. In August 2023, this number increased to 41,000. So these are 41,000 citizens who had difficulties with immigration and who had no choice but to turn to the Chambers of Deputies, adds Luc Berthold.