The small community of Moosomin is rallying around a family facing deportation.
Victor Santos and his wife, Lesi, along with their two sons settled in the community two years ago. He works at the Denray Tire store and she works at the Borderland Co-op.
The family came to Canada seven years ago after Santos witnessed the murder of a journalist in his home country of Honduras and believed he would be killed if he returned.
But his refugee request filed in 2011 was denied for failing to provide enough evidence of the threat.
Souris-Moose Mountain MP Robert Kitchen, local church leaders and Moosomin resident Russell Slugoski are all hoping to intervene and urge the federal government to reconsider.
Santos provided supporting documentation in his application, like police and witness statements. Immigration Canada requires those photocopies to be on a certain size of paper, cutting off signatures and other portions of those statements.
His supporters believe it’s a simple, reversible mistake, but the government appears to disagree.
“Once something is in the process and it goes through there’s no backtracking, you can’t reverse anything that has happened and try to correct or justify it,” Slugoski told John Gormley.
“The arguments and the substantiation and documentation that Victor can provide do not seem to satisfy the authorities.”
There are no more appeals and the family has been ordered to leave July 5, once the children finish school.
As minister responsible for Canada Border Services Agency, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale does have the power to stay the removal order of the Santos family. That power, however, is rarely used given the rules-based system that exists to determine eligibility in Canada.
Goodale’s office declined comment on specific cases but it’s believed Kitchen has approached Goodale about the case on the floor of the House of Commons.