Please do not deport us - our baby son has Down Syndrome and needs to stay in Canada!

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My name is Claudia Yanneth DIAZ OSPINA. My husband Jorge Henrique BERNAL ZAMORA and I are the parents of our sons 4 sons; Brayan (20 years old), Yeison (18 years old), Emiliano (6 years old) and Jeremias (9 months old). Myself, my husband, and my three oldest sons Brayan, Yeison and Emiliano are all Colombian Citizens. But our newborn son Jeremias was born in Canada so he is a Canadian Citizen.

As a mother, I am asking the Government to please cancel my family’s deportation, which is currently scheduled for September 27 2018. I am very worried about what will happen to my 9-month old baby son Jeremias if we are deported back to Colombia. Jeremias was born with Downs Syndrome, and has a number of very serious medical needs.

Because of Jeremias’ medical condition, he receives treatment from a large team of medical professionals to keep him healthy. He is currently treated by a Pediatrician, a Physiotherapist, an Occupational Therapist, and other medical professionals.

Jeremias has been in and out of the hospital since he was born. Because of his Downs Syndrome, he had cataracts, which required surgery. Jeremias has also been treated by a nutritionist because he had failure to thrive and his weight was less than the 3rd percentile for his age. His muscles are not well developed, and he has had problems swallowing. We are taking care of him as best we can, and so are his Doctors, but Jeremias is still very fragile because of his Downs Syndrome.

Jeremias’ Doctor has written in a report that explains that he needs treatment, and will require treatment throughout his life, and that she thinks he should stay in Canada so that he can continue getting treatment from his medical team. Jeremias’ Doctor wrote in a report that;

“Given his diagnosis of Down Syndrome, Jeremias is expected to have significant medical needs throughout his life. He requires intensive and continuous developmental support, and any disruptions in this care may have an impact on his overall development. Further to this, he will require ongoing health surveillance throughout his life for specific medical conditions related to Down Syndrome. These include hearing and vision problems, neurologic injuries, cardiac and thyroid disease, gastrointestinal disorders, leukemias, as well as intellectual disability.”

Our family fled Colombia and came to Canada in April 2016. We have been living in Hamilton Ontario ever since we arrived to Canada. We fled Colombia because, as parents, my husband and I were afraid of the gang violence and crime rates which exist there, and we were afraid for our sons’ safety. So we came to Canada, and made a refugee claim, and while we were waiting for our refugee hearing to happen I became pregnant with Jeremias. Unfortunately, our refugee claim was denied, and this is why we have been ordered to leave Canada.

Please let us stay. We have not broken any laws in Canada, and our family is financially self-sufficient. We are simple, hardworking people. My husband works two jobs as a cleaner to support our family, and my eldest son Brayan also works. We came to this country to make a better life to our family, and to contribute to society in Canada. We love Canada, and we want to stay here.

In May 2018, we applied for permanent status in Canada on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds. The first basis of our application is our concern that Jeremias will not get the medical care that he needs if he has to go to Colombia. We know that the healthcare system in Colombia does not provide the quality of care that Jeremias’ Down Syndrome requires, particularly now, when he is only 9 months old. The other reason we have submitted a Humanitarian Application is because our sons have been living in Canada now for over two years, and they love it here. We know that if they are deported, they will miss their school and their friends very much.

Despite our pending Humanitarian Application, the Canada Border Services Agency is trying to deport us. Jeremias is a Canadian Citizen, so he has the right to stay in Canada, but he is just a baby and he needs us, and we love him very much, so we cannot leave him behind in Canada. We do not even know who would take care of him if we left him behind in Canada. Because of this, if our family is deported on September 27, we will need to bring Jeremias with us. But we are also very worried that if we bring Jeremias to Colombia with us, that he will not get the quality of medical care that he needs.

We are begging the government to please cancel our September 27 deportation, and to allow us to stay in Canada until a decision is made on our pending Humanitarian Application. We are working and supporting ourselves so we are not hurting anyone by being in Canada, and our baby needs to be with his Doctors in Canada. Please let us stay.

Thank you, and we ask you to please cancel our deportation.