Ivonne Regains Custody!

The Struggle for Status Continues

-> Read more below about what you can do, including contributing to fundraising efforts (it’s urgent!), joining our Justice for Ivonne contingent on March 8th (International Women’s Day), and writing a support letter!

**NEW: Justice for Ivonne facebook page – like it to follow updates**

“Justice for Ivonne” contingent in the 8th March protest (International Women’s Day)

After a day and a half of hearings in family court, Ivonne finally regained full custody of her 1-year old son, at least for the time-being. Ivonne and her son have been separated since January 10th, when a judge in St-Jérôme granted custody to her ex-partner, citing her immigration status. This ruling is temporary until a full trial scheduled for the fall. Ivonne’s ex-partner has visiting rights. This means that Ivonne cannot leave Canada with her child, and highlights the importance of regularizing her status.

Although Ivonne has a Federal Court stay, her status in Canada is still not permanent. This means she cannot access many essential services (such as daycare, healthcare and child supplements) and remains at risk of deportation in the long-run. The struggle continues!

Justice for Ivonne! Status for All!

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

(1) Urgent! Make a financial contribution

One of the most urgent needs at this time is financial support to pay immigration and family lawyers. We encourage you to donate, whether it’s $10, $20, $100 or more.

By cheque:
Please make your cheque out to “Solidarité sans frontières” and write “Ivonne support” in the memo line. Mail or drop off cheque at:
Solidarité sans frontières / Justice pour Ivonne
1500 de Maisonneuve West, #204 Montréal, QC H3G 1N1

By paypal:
(*please write a note to specify that it is for Ivonne)

By cash:
Contact justicepourivonne@gmail.com to arrange a cash contribution or visit 1500 de Maisonneuve West, #204 (métro Guy-Concordia) between 12pm-6pm, Monday-Thursday.

2) 8th March: Justice for Ivonne Contingent in International Women’s Day march

International Women's Day, 8 March 2014

International Women’s Day, 8 March 2014

Join us on International Women’s Day for the march “Solidarity against Precarity, Smash the glass cage of Insecurity“, organized by the Women of Diverse Origins on Saturday, 8 March at 3:30pm at Cabot Square (Atwater Metro).

Find the “Justice pour Ivonne, Status for All!” banner and march with us!

PLEASE PASS THE WORD: www.facebook.com/events/222005511324300/

3) Write Organizational Letters of Support

We encourage organizations to write public letters of support for Ivonne that we can share publicly on our website and include in her immigration file. Unique letters written by organizations (collectives, associations, unions, locals, shelters, community centers, cooperatives, etc.) have a greater impact than a generic letter.

* See previous support letters for Ivonne here.

BACKGROUND

* Media compilation here.

Ivonne Hernandez came to Canada to seek asylum in 2009. In 2011, her refugee application was refused in 2011 and she was ordered deported. Rather than return to the very real danger she faced in Mexico, Ivonne joined the estimated half a million people living without papers in Canada, among the most vulnerable and exploited members of our society.

On December 11, 2013, Ivonne fled her home with her son to take refuge in a shelter for women victims of conjugal violence. Her partner promptly denounced her to authorities.

In a shocking and rushed ruling on January 10, 2014, a judge awarded custody of Ivonne’s son to the Canadian father because of Ivonne’s vulnerable immigration status. Ivonne and her son were allowed to see each other only eight hours a week.

On January 22nd, while picking up her son from her ex-partner, she was arrested at Berri-UQAM metro station in a pre-planned public ambush involving border authorities and police.

Every aspect of this case is disgusting and shocking. Ivonne should never have been detained. Ivonne should have permanent status in Canada. Ivonne should have protection from conjugal violence. And, most importantly, Ivonne, a loving and caring mother, should never have been separated from her son.

After public outcry and a significant mobilization, Ivonne Hernandez was released from immigration detention on January 24 on a $4000 cash bond. She is required to report to immigration authorities regularly. Then, on January 28, the Canadian Border Services Agency decided that she would be deported on February 7th without her son. Just days before her removal, on February 4th, the Federal Court granted her a tempory stay of deportation. Effectively, this means Ivonne cannot be removed from Canada and her community in the coming months. The judge cited the irreparable harm that would be caused if Ivonne were deported and permanently separated from her 14-month old son.

Canada has made it very difficult for people in Ivonne’s situation to regularize their status. Although Mexico has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world, and has an extremely high homicide rate, Canada has placed Mexico on a list of “safe countries”, countries that Canada claims can protect its citizens from violence.

A request to re-open Ivonne’s immigration file was made in November. A new request has been filed but there has still been no response. However, the Minister of Immigration has the discretionary power to intervene in the file and regularize Ivonne’s status at any time.

The mobilisation continues!