Guatemalan family to be deported. Humanitarian plea to stay in Canada.
Edmonton residents Jilmar Picon and Yolanda Martinez, along with their oldest child, Edison, will be deported to Guatemala on July 12, 2017. The 4 youngest children, aged 6‐18 years, will be deported on July 10, 2017 to Houston, despite efforts to keep the family together in Canada. The children will be going to Yolanda's sister in Houston but there are no legal documents indicating who will be the legal guardian for the minor children when they arrive.
The children have not grown up with the extended family and there is fear that children will rely on Nely for full support, and so how will Nely be able to help her siblings if the Canadian government has not given any indication as to who the legal guardian is of the children. The children will be placed on a plane with no documentation, and sent to the USA. Jilmar and Yolanda chose to send the children to the USA not by choice but because it was the only way to protect the children from death.
Having left Guatemala due to threats and having being beaten, shot at, which led to partial deafness in his right ear, and from the debris when he was shot at, the cornea on his right eye required a transplant which he received in the USA, Jilmar's fear is not being able to protect his family and says of his return to Guatemala, "In a month I will be dead." The family has been fleeing gang‐related violence from their native Guatemala for nearly two decades and face immediate deportation unless an emergency intervention occurs.
Equally pressing are the concerns for Nely, their oldest daughter, who suffers from a genetic disease that affects her kidneys and her liver, PKARD, and for which she would be unable to continue the treatments which remain crucial to her survival. Even with the treatments, it is likely she would require a kidney transplant, for which her father is a match. In the event of a separation from her parents, she would no longer be able to count on her father's organ donation, and would also be unable to afford her treatments. To deport her without a means of continuing her medical regimen is to condemn Nely to a slow and imminent death.
These are just some of the reasons we need your help. Our goal is to obtain enough signatures to compel the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, MP, Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, to intervene on behalf of the family before their scheduled deportation. With your help, we can SAVE LIVES. All you have to do is have the WILL to intervene.
"Guatemala's criminal organizations are among the most sophisticated and dangerous in Central America. Some of them have been in operation for decades. They include former members of the military, intelligence agencies, and active members of the police." (Insightcrime.org)
For access to our GoFundMe Campaign, visit https://www.gofundme.com/stop‐the‐deportation
- Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen MP
- Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Honourable Ralph Goodale
- Prime Minister of Canada/Premier ministre du Canada
I am writing to urge you to reverse the decision to remove the family of Jilmar Picón and Yolanda Martinez from Canada. The family have been living in Canada since 2011 and believed that they had correctly applied for refugee status. They have been legally working in Canada, paying their taxes and raising their family. Their lives will be in danger if they return to Guatemala and the children’s lives will be forever impacted if they are separated from their parents.
Guatemala can be a very difficult place to live. There has been a disturbing increase in drug and gang activity and those who oppose the gangs put their lives at risk. According to Amnesty International in 2016 to 2017 people continued to flee the country to escape high levels of inequality and violence. Returning the Picón-Martinez family to Guatemala will put them at significant risk. At present the only option the parents have to ensure a safe environment for their children is to send them to the United States where they will be separated from their parents. This can’t be the best solution that Canada can offer this family.
Equally concerning is that Nely, the oldest daughter, suffers from PKARD a genetic disease that affects her kidneys and her liver. It is imperative that she continue the treatments which remain crucial to her survival. This medical care is available to her in Canada, but may be out of reach in the United States. Even with treatment, it is likely that she will require a kidney transplant in the future. Her father is a good match but will not be able to donate if they are send away to different countries. To deport her without a means of continuing her medical regimen is to condemn Nely to a slow and imminent death.
This family is not a danger to Canada. They have in good faith lived here since 2011 doing everything that they can to be good citizens of Canada.
It would be an act of compassion and humanity to allow them to stay and make their lives here. It would be in keeping with the expressed views of your government that Canada is a welcoming country for refugees. We truly hope you will chose to intervene and protect this family from deportation.
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