FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- SEPTEMBER 17
Monday: Court hearing & press conference with mom of 2 Canadian kids facing deportation
WHAT: Press conference before Paola Ortiz’s federal court hearing
WHEN: Monday September 19, 11 AM
WHERE: The Federal Court, 30 rue McGill
WHO: Paula Ortiz; her lawyer Stewart Istvanffy; and Solidarity Across Borders
MONTREAL—On Monday, a federal judge will hear the case of Paola Ortiz, a mom of two young Canadian kids, who sought asylum in Canada in 2006 after fleeing Mexico to escape sexual abuse and violence at the hands of her then-fiance, who is a federal Mexican police officer. The hearing, which the press is invited to attend (time to be confirmed), represents Ortiz’s last chance for recourse prior to her and her children's scheduled deportation to Mexico at 7 AM on Tuesday September 20th.
At a press conference prior to the hearing, Ms. Ortiz, her lawyer, and members of Solidarity Across Borders will appeal to federal authorities to suspend the deportation, so that Ms. Ortiz can pursue a path to permanent residency. Ms. Ortiz's supporters, who include 19 community organizations and over one hundred neighbours and community members, emphasize that Canada will be complicit in perpetrating violence against women if her deportation is carried out, abrogating the nation's obligations under human rights treaties and the law of refugee protection.
In 2007, the Immigrant and Refugee Board refused to grant refugee status to Ms. Ortiz, despite evidence from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and other sources suggesting grave problems of impunity for perpetrators of violence against women in Mexico, and despite the fact that she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Despite the non-cooperation of federal immigration authorities, Ms. Ortiz has successfully obtained a Certification of Selection by Quebec (CSQ). The deportation would reverse her efforts to legitimately gain residence in Quebec and integrate into her community.
The deportation would also deprive Ms. Ortiz's two kids, who are both Canadian citizens, of necessary medical attention. Her 4-year old daughter has hearing problems and her 2-year old son has recently been diagnosed with autism. Both children are currently receiving services from medical specialists that Ms. Ortiz and her lawyer say will not be accessible to them should they be sent to Mexico.
A request for a judicial stay of removal has been submitted by Ms. Ortiz's lawyer, with an announcement expected on the morning of Monday September 19th for a hearing to be held later that same day. Should this stay be denied, she is obliged to show up at Trudeau airport at 7am on Tuesday to be flown back to Mexico.