A Verdun family facing deportation to Egypt tomorrow got the bad news last night. A federal court rejected their last appeal to stay in Canada.
A small group of supporters of the Khalifa family delivered a petition with several hundred names this morning to the Immigration ffice downtown on St. Antoine St., that calls on federal ministers to stop the deportation and grant permanent residency status to Tarek and Samah Khalifa.
"I don't know if a few pieces of paper will do anything but I know it mobilized the community and spread awareness about the situation," said David Lefneski, pastor at the South West United Church and Mission.
Samah Khalifa was overcome with emotion, as she explained how she couldn't send her daughters to school as their classmates return today, how she couldn't buy them school supplies because of their uncertain situation. She and her husband have fighting for permanent residency for the last eight years they've been here, and she said she doesn't want to choose between leaving their two Canadian-born daughters aged six and eight here and bringing them to Egypt where the political situation is unstable. Khalifa said she's also concerned about getting her epileptic older daughter the medical care she needs.
"I will not leave her. At the same time, I want to leave her in a safe place. Egypt is not safe for my daughter, even for me. So how can I protect her?" Khalifa told reporters, tears streaming down her face.
The couple is set to be deported tomorrow evening.