Waterloo, ON (November 19, 2019) – Twelve groups and organizations throughout Canada have issued an open letter in solidarity with an undocumented family in Waterloo, Ontario facing deportation to Guatemala. Ahead of tomorrow’s expected post-election cabinet shuffle, they call on the Trudeau government to let the family stay in Canada. 

The family includes parents Daniel Roblero and Sandra Morales, as well as their six US-born children. Daniel was deported on November 2nd, however, the rest of the family has yet to receive their deportation date. 

Sandra and Daniel met in the US, after having fled persecution and violence in Guatemala. As undocumented people living in the US, they became increasingly fearful of family separation and deportation when Trump was elected in 2017, so they decided to come to Canada to seek refuge. 

Their asylum claim was denied on November 23, 2018 and they were unable to appeal that decision because of Canada’s immigration laws. Currently, the family is awaiting a decision on their application for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds (H & C) based on factors such as the well-being of their children, and the hardship they would endure in Guatemala. 

Three of their children have serious health issues. While the family is able to access the medical services and the care they need in a cost-effective way in Canada, it’s doubtful that this would be the case in Guatemala. 

The letter reads: “The US is not a safe place for [the family], and neither is Guatemala… They belong in Canada. They have family and community here. Sending the children to a country they have never stepped foot in would be a grave injustice.”

Signatories to the letter include the following groups and organizations: Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group; Justicia for Migrant Workers; Mining Injustice Solidarity Network; SURJ Toronto; No One Is Illegal-Toronto; No One is Illegal-London; People for Peace, London; Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network; No One Is Illegal-Halifax/K’jipuktuk; Balanced Generations a non profit society; Solidarity Across Borders/ Solidarité Sans Frontieres/ Solidaridad Sin Fronteras; and Sanctuary City Edmonton. 

The groups call on the Trudeau government to stop the family’s removal and to grant them temporary residency status so they can stay until their H & C application is decided. Furthermore, they urge the Trudeau government to respond favourably to the family’s H & C application. 

The open letter is addressed to Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale, as well as incoming ministers in those portfolios, in addition to the MP for Kitchener-Waterloo Bardish Chagger. 

Trudeau is expected to unveil his first post-election cabinet on November 20th. Parliament is set to resume on December 5th. 

Members of the public are asked to contact the Trudeau government to halt this deportation and to consider making a financial contribution to help with the family’s immediate needs during this difficult time. 
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