Canada says it welcomes honest, hard-working, law-abiding people who will use their skills for the betterment of Canadian society, and says it will provide safety and security for victims of torture and gross human rights abuses from around the world. Yet a couple who meets both these descriptions is facing imminent deportation. Their only crime was daring to report one.
Ana and Ramon came to Canada from Mexico in 2008. After Ana reported a crime, the couple came to the attention of one of Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartels. They were kidnapped and tortured in front of each other. For three more years, they faced constant harassment, intimidation and threats of further violence and degradation. Since 2007, this cartel, unnamed here for reasons of safety, has managed to violently assert its control over a huge portion of Mexico as it has been proven that they work directly with Mexican authorities. In the midst of this war, innocent civilians like Ana and Ramon have become victims.
Since fleeing to Canada, Ana and Ramon have worked to overcome the physical and psychological trauma they suffered. They have worked thankless jobs while working to obtain Canadian credentials. Now, Ana works as the controller in a small food business and is responsible for its finance department, while Ramon does bookkeeping and accounting. They volunteer within their community and with several Canadian NGOs working on human rights and international justice issues. Their passion for Canada comes from knowing and deeply appreciating that Canada gave them a second chance at safety – a second chance at life. They deeply feel all the little freedoms that Canadians take for granted every day.
Unfortunately Ana and Ramon have now become victims of Canada’s immigration system, which has rejected them on largely political grounds while ignoring strong and undeniable evidence that the security situation in Mexico has significantly deteriorated since 2008. Under Canadian law, a significant negative change in the circumstances in a person’s home country is grounds for allowing them to stay. Canadian law also provides that applicants will be successful where it can be shown that the state security is either unwilling or unable to provide adequate protection to its citizens; in this case, the Mexican authorities are complicit with the drug cartel that has targeted Ana and Ramon. Despite saying that Canada will open its doors to hard-working and law-abiding people who want and deserve to be new Canadians, the Immigration and Refugee Board has ruled that Ana and Ramon have not integrated sufficiently into Canadian society, despite the overwhelming evidence from their school, their employers, their friends, their co-workers, and the many members of their community who have all written letters to attest that Ana and Ramon are people who make Canada a better place to live.
Please help us ensure that justice is done in this case, so that Ana and Ramon can live free of torture and fear, in the country that they love desperately. Sign the petition to help stop Ana and Ramon’s deportation so that they can continue to contribute to Canadian society!