Canada set to deport Pinoy family living in Canada for 14 years

Community News & Features Jan 11, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Let the Concepcion Stay_graphicBy Ysh Cabana

TORONTO–The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) has ordered the Concepcions to be sent back to the Philippines despite finding that the family of four is “very well established in Canada.”
Gemma Concepcion, 49, tells her story to keep her family together. After accepting a job offer by a recruitment agency, she was not fully aware that she would be smuggled into Canada in September 2005. She later found out that she was given fake immigration documents.

Enrico, 44, came with a visitor visa a year earlier. Since moving to this country, the two met at work as custodians in Ontario College of Arts and Design (OCAD) cleaning classrooms and studios overnight. Their commitment to support and love each other as migrant workers bore two children, Ricca Mae and Mark Eli, 12 and 8 respectively.

The two kids go to school in Mississauga, have made friends in their neighbourhood and church, while Gemma and Rico have worked and volunteered within their community. Having no resources and understanding of Canada’s immigration system to seek appropriate legal advice, the family remained underground for years living out of fear for their safety.

With the deportation set on January 27th, the future of their Canadian-born children is left at “immediate risk of adverse psychological and academic consequences.”

“All of us cried,” said Mark Eli when he recounted the time when his mother was detained for ten days.

But Gemma is hoping for a turnaround in their case, from imminent deportation to temporary deferral to possible settlement.

She made a formal complaint to the CBSA regarding the fraudulent agency alleged to be a front of a human trafficking ring. However, the status of the investigation is presently unknown.
In the Philippines, poverty remains high and the pace of poverty reduction has been slow despite the relatively good economic performance, according to a recent study by the World Bank.
Due to lack employment in the island nation, up to 12 million Filipinos work or reside abroad to seek better opportunities and send back money to their families. Of this number, there are approximately 2.3 million new or renewed contracts for Filipinos to work overseas each year.

The Philippines is one of the world’s largest labor exporters. The economy is heavily reliant on the remittances the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) send home.


If you wish to be more involved in the campaign in support of the Concepcion family, donate to their legal fund through or contact Bayani Edades at 647-624-8690.