Let Alvaro Stay in Canada
  • Petitioned Jason Kenney

This petition was delivered to:

Minister of Citizenship & Immigration
Jason Kenney

Let Alvaro Stay in Canada

    1. Michael  Erickson
    2. Petition by

      Michael Erickson

      Toronto, Canada

May 2011


Alvaro fled his abusive father in Nicaragua when he was only a teenager. He found a home and supportive community in Toronto, Canada. Alvaro faced a death threat from his father if he returned to Nicaragua because Alvaro is gay. 

After nearly 10,000 people signed Michael Erickson's petition on Change.org asking Canadian Immigration to let Alvaro stay, Canadian immigration granted Alvaro permanent residency on humanitarian grounds. 

(Version Français après)

At 8pm on Friday evening (May 13), award-winning undocumented queer artist Alvaro Orozco was arrested on his way to dinner with friends. Now in detention at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre, he faces imminent deportation to Nicaragua.

An accomplished artist and dedicated advocate for queer and newcomer youth, Alvaro’s love for art and commitment to community has captured the appreciation and respect of thousands of people in Toronto. He received the 2010 Street-Level Advocate Award from the Toronto Youth Cabinet and City of Toronto in recognition of his work with queer and newcomer youth.

Alvaro first rose to national prominence in 2007 when his refugee claim was denied on the basis that he did not look “gay enough” for the adjudicator hearing his case via a television screen in Calgary.

This story was picked up by the largest newspapers in Nicaragua, effectively “outing” him to the entire country he left at age 12 due to severe physical abuse by a father who threatened to “kill any child of his that was homosexual.”

Alvaro, now 25, is still waiting for a decision on his Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application.

Alvaro’s Accomplishments & Exhibits

- Volunteer/Mentor with Supporting Our Youth (SOY)
- Mayworks Festival, Toronto, 2011
- Toronto Youth Cabinet, 2010 Identify & Impact Awards, Street-Level Advocate Award Winner
- Migrant Expressions Photography Exhibition, Montreal, 2009
- Under the Bridge Art Exhibition, Toronto, 2009
- Jumblies Theatre, Prop-Maker and Photographer, Toronto, 2009
- Refugee Rights Day, Toronto City Hall, Toronto, 2008
- ArtWherk Collective 2007, Pride Art Exhibition, Toronto, 2007

- - -

Version Français

Laissez Alvaro Rester!

À 20 heures le vendredi soir (13 mai), artiste sans-papiers, Alvaro Orozco a été arrêté sur le chemin du retour après avoir soupé avec des amis. Maintenant, en détention au Centre de Toronto Immigration Holding, il fait face à une déportation imminente au Nicaragua.

Alvaro est un artiste accompli et défendeur pour les jeunes homosexuels et les nouveaux arrivants. Son amour pour l'art et l'engagement envers la collectivité ont capté l'appréciation et le respect de milliers de personnes à Toronto. Il a reçu en 2010, le prix ‘street level advocate’ de la Toronto Youth Cabinet et la ville de Toronto en reconnaissance de son travail avec les jeunes nouveaux arrivants LGBTQ.

L’histoire personnelle d’Alvaro s'est passée au média national en 2007, lorsque sa demande d'asile a été rejetée parce ce que le commissaire de la CISR (Commission de l’immigration et du statut de réfugié) ne croyait pas qu’il était gai. Alvaro était présent pour son audience à Toronto pendant que la commissaire était à Calgary (vidéo-conférence).

Cette histoire a été reprise par les plus grands journaux au Nicaragua. Maintenant, Alvaro est devenu plus vulnérable. En effet,  il a quitté son pays à 12 ans en raison d’abus et de persécution par un père qui l’a menacé en disant qu’il va tuer son enfant s’il est gai.

Alvaro a aujourd'hui 25 ans, il est toujours en attente d'une décision sur son demande de résidence permanente par considérations d’ordre humanitaire.

Les amis d'Alvaro se réunissent pour se déplacer rapidement à surseoir à son expulsion. Il est essentiel que nous gardions cette voix forte dans notre communauté.

Les réalisations et expositions d’Alvaro

- Bénévole avec Supporting Our Youth (SOY)
- Festival Mayworks, Toronto, 2011
- Toronto Youth Cabinet, 2010 Impact Award Recipient
- Exposition -  Expressions Migrants, Montréal, 2009
- Dans le cadre du Salon Art Bridge, Toronto, 2009
- Théâtre Jumblies, Prop-Maker et photographe, Toronto, 2009
- Exposition Journée des droits des réfugiés, Hôtel de Ville de Toronto, Toronto, 2008
- Exposition collective ArtWherk 2007, Art Pride, Toronto, 2007

Recent signatures


    1. Michael  Erickson
      Petition Organizer

      This is incredible and it's because people from across Canada and across the world came together. We're hearing reports that many newly elected MPs from across Canada, from all different parties, had been calling (or walking right into) Minister Kenney's office this week! That's that power of all of us, united, asking for a little justice and love in the application of our laws.

      Thank you.

      Today, Alvaro has been granted his Humanitarian & Compassionate grounds application which means he is now a PERMANENT RESIDENT of Canada. He is free. He is loved. We have him back in our community where he belongs. And all of you who signed the petition, who called or messaged your MPs.... you all get to share in our love and victory. Without you, this wouldn't have been possible. Thank you.


    2. Victory! Alvaro can stay in Canada!

      Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      After almost 10,000 people signed Michael Erickson's petition on Change.org urging Canadian Immigration officials to allow Alvaro Orozco to stay in Canada, officials granted Alvaro permanent residency based on humanitarian grounds.
      Alvaro fled...

    3. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Alvaro's deportation was delayed, but a hearing for his Humanitarian appeal has not been announced. Will there be enough time before he is deported next week?

    4. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Alvaro's deportation has been delayed until June 9. Keep the pressure up. It is working!

    5. Reached 9 signatures
    6. Michael  Erickson
      Petition Organizer

      Alvaro was just informed that his deportation date has been set for Thursday June 2. Alvaro has requested a deferral and, if necessary, his lawyer will be going to the Federal Court of Appeal to argue for a stay on his deportation until his Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) application is decided.

      It's a strong application and Alvaro was notified in October to expect a response by April/May 2011. We are confident that Citizenship & Immigration Canada will do the right thing and grant Alvaro his H&C.

      But right now, we need to first make sure that Alvaro is not deported on Thursday!
      Please unite with us for:

      519 Community Centre (Outside)
      TUESDAY, May 31, 11am

      And MONDAY is our Phone & Email & Twitter Blitz!
      You can see details here:
      Or read my update below.

    7. Michael  Erickson
      Petition Organizer

      What you can do RIGHT NOW:
      1. Call Jason Kenney: 403-225-3480 or 613-992-2235
      2. Email Jason Kenney: Kenney.J@parl.gc.ca & Minister@cic.gc.ca & kennej@parl.gc.ca
      3. Twitter a message to Jason Kenney: @kenneyjason
      4. Join the Facebook Group to get updates and alerts:
      5. Find and Contact your local MP:

    8. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Help get Jason Kenny's attention. Tweet this petition to @kenneyjason and ask him to "Let Alvaro stay in Canada"

    9. Reached 8 signatures
    10. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      NOW's Susan G. Cole wrote, "What happens to queer activist and artist Alvaro Orozco will tell us a lot about how Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney and, by association, the federal government are going to handle power."

    11. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Immigration officials told Alvaro's supporters he must prove he is established in the community, so 40 members of the community marched on Alvaro's behalf to a federal government office

    12. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Check out this video from a press conference with Alvaro's supporters

    13. Michael  Erickson
      Petition Organizer

      ACTION - TODAY (Monday)
      Join us for the Alvaro Blitz Day! Phone, email or Twitter your MP or Jason Kenney

      ACTION - TOMORROW (Tuesday)
      Join us in Toronto for the River & Wave of Support for Alvaro
      5pm - 7pm starting at Dundas Square, flowing to the Refugee & Immigration Board

    14. Michael  Erickson
      Petition Organizer

      "I won’t give up and I hope the community is still there and I hope they won’t give up too."
      Read an interview with Alvaro by Rabble :

    15. Reached 3 signatures
    16. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      According to Canada's LGBT news site, Xtra, "Spokespeople for the department of Citizenship and Immigration and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) say the humanitarian and compassionate grounds application filed in behalf of Toronto artist Alvaro Orozco isn’t likely to prevent his deportation."

    17. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Alvaro was interviewed by Canada's LGBT news site Xtra while in detention in Toronto

    18. Michael  Erickson
      Petition Organizer

      The struggle to keep Alvaro with his Canadian family continues!
      If you can, join us for a DANCE MOB where we can show our true colours and our support in the streets for Alvaro's return to us. 'We Are Family'

      FRIDAY 20 May, 2011
      5pm Practice. 5:30pm Dance Mob
      Corner of Church and Wellesley

      For details:

    19. Reached 2 signatures
    20. Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Alvaro could be deported as early as today, May 18, according to a report in Canada's Xtra. So please help spread the word about this petition by sharing it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

    21. Reached 2 signatures
    22. Alvaro faces deadly deportation to Nicaragua

      Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      UPDATE May 31, 2011: Victory! Canadian Immigration announced that Alvaro was granted permanent residency in Canada. He will now be able to live freely in Canada and apply for full Canadian citizenship in a year if he so chooses....

    23. Reached 1 signatures
    24. Michael  Erickson
      Petition Organizer

      Please join the Facebook group to get updates:
      Alvero's bail was denied today and they are proceeding with his deportation.
      BUT Alvaro's lawyer is working on a request for deferral - and community support can really help with that!

      There is a Press Conference+Community Meeting+Art Show To Support Alvaro
      Wednesday May 18th at 11am @ Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

    25. Reached 750 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Dani Latumaerissa DIEMEN, NETHERLANDS
      • over 3 years ago

      Stay STRONG!

    • richard irving LINCOLN, ME
      • over 3 years ago

      why would u send an innocent man to his death u should be ashamed of that.

    • Wudasie Efrem TORONTO, CANADA
      • over 3 years ago

      It would be a shame for Canada to deport Alvaro.

    • Jared Cornelius NORTH HIGHLANDS, CA
      • over 3 years ago


    • Brandon Scott INDIA, INDIA
      • over 3 years ago

      Dear Sir,


      Let Alvaro Stay in Canada!


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.