Quebec women’s groups and human rights advocates are fighting for a Mexican woman who may be deported Friday. If she is, she may never see her 13 month old son again.
The nightmare started when Ivonne Hernandez and her baby sought refuge at a women's shelter last December.
Less than a month after she left her husband, he denounced her to authorities and a judge gave him temporary custody of the child, because she did not have immigration status and could be deported at the drop of a hat.
On January 22, when picking up her son from her ex-husband, Hernandez says he arranged a public takedown and she was arrested by border services at Berri metro station.
“I just want to stay close to my baby, because if I leave I may never see him again. I ask for compassion, please let me stay with my baby, it’s his right. That’s the only thing I want, really, I don’t have words...” a sobbing Hernandez said at a press conference Monday.
Hernandez came to Canada to flee a violent partner in Mexico in 2009. In 2011, immigration refused her refugee status saying she could move elsewhere in Mexico to hide from the man. She had tried to hide from him in four different states before seeking refuge in Canada.
“We need some way to protect women in these types of relationships. The message being given is, if you leave then you can lose your baby, you can lose everything. There’s complete insensitivity on the part of the Canadian state in front of what has happened,” her lawyer, Stewart Istvanffy, said.
“If Steven Blaney has a heart he can intervene this afternoon and stop the deportation. We have a policy of heartless deportations and we are living a human rights crisis in this country when it comes to deportations.”
On February 4, the Federal Court will decided if Hernandez can stay in the country until March 6 to attend the hearing that will determine if she can regain custody of her baby.