Campaign for Mercy, Compassion

Community News & Features May 12, 2017 at 2:55 pm
MERCEDES BENITEZ

MERCEDES BENITEZ

Good enough to work, good enough to stay

Mercedes Benitez has worked hard in Canada. She cares for elderly Canadians who want to age in place. She has filled a void in our labour market.  By coming to work in Canada, she sacrificed her role as a mother so that she could provide for her family in the Philippines. In return, she was virtually guaranteed the right to stay.

Nine years later Mercedes’s dream of being re-united with her family in Canada is in jeopardy. This is because her youngest son, Harold, is disabled.  He was found to be “medically inadmissible” to Canada due to “mental retardation.”

We’re calling on IRCC Minister Ahmed Hussen to end this discriminatory practice and intervene immediately. We’re asking Minister Hussen to grant Mercedes and her family members Permanent Residency and to repeal Section 38 (1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

https://www.justiceformercedes.com/

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Harold Benitez

Harold Benitez

“I’ve worked as a caregiver for elderly Canadians for close to a decade. In 2010 I applied to become a permanent resident. But my son is disabled. As a result I and my family may be refused the right to stay in Canada.” — Mercedes Benitez

“I can assure you that if Ms. Benitez were not allowed to continue to work for me, I would be in immediate jeopardy… She has been a valued caregiver and superb employee since April 2013, and I would hope she would continue to be by my side until my last breath. ” — Mercedes’s employer

Mercedes with elder.com

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Email the Immigration Minister today

Write to Minister Ahmed Hussen (Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca) and your Member of Parliament. You can look up your MP by postal code. Please copy us on your email: justiceformercedes2@gmail.com

Here’s a sample letter. Feel free to personalize it.

I’m writing to request that Mercedes Benitez and her family be granted Permanent Residence in Canada. I am also requesting that Section 38(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) be repealed.

Ms. Benitez has worked hard in Canada. She cares for elderly Canadians who want to age in place. Her current employer says, “She has been a valued caregiver and superb employee… I would hope she would continue to be by my side until my last breath.” Ms. Benitez has filled a void in our labour market. By coming to work in Canada, she sacrificed her role as a mother so that she could provide for her family in the Philippines. In return, as a live-in caregiver, she was virtually guaranteed the right to stay.

But nine years later Ms. Benitez’s dream of being re-united with her family in Canada is in jeopardy. This is because her youngest son, Harold, was found to be “medically inadmissible” to Canada under Section 38 due to “mental retardation”. Ms. Benitez was advised by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that her application for permanent residence status would be denied.

By finding her son Harold to be medically inadmissible, IRCC has violated his rights, both as a child and as a person with a disability. The IRCC decision conflicts with the values imbued in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the principles of international human rights law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on Persons with Disabilities. Canada has ratified both conventions and is bound by these commitments. The Convention on the Rights of the Child compels Canada to consider the best interests of the child when making decisions which could impact them. Harold wants to live with his mother in Canada.

The excessive demand provision represents a continuing history of discriminatory laws targeting people with disabilities. Section 3 of the IRPA specifically mandates that decision taken under the Act must be consistent with the Charter, including its principles of equality and freedom from discrimination. I urge you to to remove the excessive demand inadmissibility from the IRPA by repealing section 38(1)(c) of the IRPA.

Thank you for considering this request. I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,
[Name, Mailing address]