Results from Taco Fundraiser Lunch on Sunday, May 5 – As of yesterday we have received and banked $11,852. Along with that we have pledges or commitments for roughly another $2000. We are very close to our goal and we continue to hear from people who still plan to make contributions. Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you to the Hospitality Team (Judy Reimer, Mel Schroeder) and the Missional Opps Team (Dean & Wendy Klippenstein, Liana Toews, Ruth Bergman, Ang Friesen) for your work in organizing the Taco Lunch.
Maria & Miguel’s Story – Their story is long and complicated, but it is important to know some of the particulars of how they got to this point in time.
Background – Both Miguel and Maria were born in Mexico (Miguel near Guadalajara and Maria in the town of Axochiapan, south of Mexico City). They each moved to the United States in hopes of a more secure future; Miguel at age 17 and Maria at age 14. They met in the US, were married, and gave birth to their three children: Miguel Jr., Francisco, and Esperanza. Life was better in the US, but because of their “undocumented” status, they were always anxious about how much security they would have. In more recent years, with the climate changing toward “undocumented” immigrants, they became afraid that they might be removed from the US. Compounding their concern was the fact that their eldest son, Miguel Jr., needed specialized medical care for a heart defect, so they were advised by their doctor to head to Canada where they believed they would be offered asylum and Miguel Jr. would have access to the medical care he needed.
Recent Time in Canada – In July of 2017, they entered Canada and were granted an opportunity to enter the asylum process. They settled in Winnipeg and eventually were both hired to work at Friesens Corporation. This is when things got more complicated, as their assigned legal counsel recommended that their asylum case was not strong enough to be successful, and they dropped out of this process. They again found themselves in the unenviable position of being undocumented and under an order to leave. They were advised by a new lawyer that their only hope was to immediately file for a Humanitarian & Compassionate Visa and hope that their removal order would be deferred. Unfortunately, their application took too much time and they were eventually forced to leave Canada on December 4, 2018, and return to their country of birth, Mexico.
What is Happening at Present? – Since their deportation, Seeds Church became aware of the fact that their case had not been handled effectively by their legal counsel and that if they had received better advice, it is possible they could have remained in Canada as registered immigrants. Due to the injustices of how their case was handled, the leadership at Seeds has made a commitment to help Miguel and Maria return to Canada as soon as possible, and we have come to the point where we have confidence that their process will be successful. Again, the steps are quite complicated but are basically summarized in this way:
- Maria and Miguel have applied to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, with a job offer from Friesens Corporation in Altona.
- If successful, applications for Permanent Residence and Work Permits will be sought.
- And finally, an application will be made to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for an Authority to Return to Canada (ARC). This process would allow them come back to Canada despite their deportation.
- The money raised will support the various applications and processes needed to return Maria and Miguel to Altona and also to help support them while they wait in Mexico, recognizing how difficult it is for them to find work to support their family. If you have any questions or would like to know more about their process, feel free to talk to Ted Enns-Dyck or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.