Kindersley residents are rallying around one of their own to keep him and his family in the country with an online petition that has over 400 signatures.
Wilmer Gonzalez along with his wife and two children have one month to leave Canada after his work visa expired and wasn’t renewed.
“There’s a lot of problems in my home country right now,” he said. “It’s not a safe place for my family and I’m so scared for my kids.”
For more months, protesters have clashed with police and the military in Venezuela over a referendum that could bring an end to democracy, in favour of a single-party authoritarian government.
“Right now I ask for help to make a future for my family,” he said. “I want to stay a little bit longer because back in Venezuela I don’t think we will have a future.”
Gonzalez has worked at the Kindersley hospital with the Heartland Health region for the last three years.
“I pay my taxes, my loans, and I pay my insurance,” he said. “I do everything by myself and I never ask for help.”
Gonzalez said he took all the appropriate steps to extend his work permit with Canadian Immigration beyond March 2017, by the time he received a response it was July 2017 and his permit had already expired.
“I help my community and I love this country,” Gonzalez told 650 CKOM Saturday. “I volunteer for soccer and hockey, we’re involved in everything.”
The Government of Saskatchewan approved Gonzalez, in 2016, to stay and work in the province under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program.
“My lawyer doesn’t understand why the work permit came denied when Saskatchewan helped me,” he said.
According to Gonzalez, he has spent more than $10,000 to complete immigration documents and applications.
“I work three jobs because my wife can’t work since she’s on a visitor visa,” he said. “Every six months I have to apply for extensions for my family just to keep them in the country.”
Kindersley Conservative M.P. David Anderson wouldn’t comment citing privacy reasons.
Public Safety Minister and Regina Liberal M.P. Ralph Goodale has not responded to requests for comment.