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Contact Information:

Rafael Fabregas, Barrister & Solicitor Mamann & Associates 74 Victoria Street, Suite 303 Toronto, ON M5C 2A5

Tel: 416-862-0000 ext. 230 Fax: 416-862-0625


The Juana Tejada Decision: Canada Finally Gets it Right

Toronto, Ontario, July 18, 2008 -- Juana Tejada’s dying wish was to be granted permanent residence in Canada. She arrived in 2003 under the federal Live-in Caregiver Program, worked hard to earn her eligibility to be a permanent resident, but was facing a refusal on her application after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness in March 2007. Juana requested consideration on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, but was twice refused. Due to a procedural error, she was given a third opportunity to provide further submissions in support of her request, and these were provided to Citizenship and Immigration Canada on July 4, 2008.

On Thursday, July 17, 2008, Citizenship and Immigration Canada rendered its decision to grant Juana’s dying wish. Because of this, her wish will soon come true.

According to Juana Tejada’s lawyer, Rafael Fabregas:

“The Immigration Department must be commended for this exceptional decision, as well as its swift handling of Juana’s request. It is without a doubt the right decision. To Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister Diane Finley, her Senior Advisers and the Senior Officers of the immigration department, and the officer at CIC’s local office in Etobicoke, you have made Canadians proud! You have made this moment one of our country’s finest hours. You have given Juana back her dignity, you have recognized her sacrifices, and you have told her she is not disposable. You have proven to the world that Canada is far above many other countries who would simply exercise their sovereign right to deport a foreigner without compassion. Juana can now spend the rest of her life in peace.

We thank all those who have expressed and shown their support for Juana Tejada, including Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow, the United Steelworkers of America, Connie Sorio of Kairos, to Migrante Ontario, to CASJ, to Oswald and Mila Magno who started the online petition, and to other individuals, the Donnas, the Ajits, the Kevins, and to the countless others to whom we express our sincere gratitude for coming to Juana’s side without hesitation.

But Minister Finley, we cannot allow this to happen again to others. No live-in caregiver should ever have to go through this harrowing process, like Juana Tejada did. Among other things, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act must be amended immediately to grant live-in caregivers an exemption from the ‘good health’ requirement when they apply for permanent residence, as they had already arrived healthy enough to work for us. In recognition of their contributions and sacrifices, they deserve a more certain future.”

Juana Tejada and her husband, Noli Azada, will now be entering the final stages of their application for permanent residence, free from the worry of refusal due to Juana’s medical condition.