After posting this entry on domestic workers, I learned of the case of Juana Tejada, a Filipina caregiver working under the Canadian federal Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP). She came to Canada in 2003, fulfilled the LCP’s stringent requirements, and was applying for permanent residency in 2006, when she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
She appealed to Canadian immigration officials to waive the health requirement for humanitarian reasons and was told the following:
“While I am sympathetic to your situation, I am not satisfied that these circumstances justify granting an exemption,” a case processing officer in Alberta wrote in the latest decision. “In the opinion of a medical officer, this health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health and social services.”
Tejada’s dying wish is is to stay in Canada and to bring her family, a right she earned and would have availed of in 2006, had she not had the misfortune of getting cancer.
“I have paid my dues to earn my permanent residency. I have worked hard to try to give my family (her husband and six siblings) a better life,” said Tejada, who has been apart from her family since 1995, when she began working abroad as a domestic. “I didn’t want to have cancer. It is not my fault.”
Juana Tejada has until August 8 before she is deported from Canada.
If you are Canadian, please contact your Member of Parliament to support Tejada’s campaign. And please sign the online petition asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reverse the deportation order against Juana Tejada.