B.C. family’s deportation battle comes to a close, for now

By James Paracy and Michael Williams

Local healthcare worker Claudia Zamorano is speaking for the first time since the Federal Court ordered her deportation stayed.

“I feel happy and relieved that I can set up my Christmas tree but right now, it’s like, should I? Because if they respond before the 24th and it’s a negative, the insecurity is still there, right?” Zamorano said.

She says she’s hoping the minister can make the decision to approve their residency. “We will be so happy, and give to my daughter the life that she deserves.”

Zamorano and her family get to celebrate the holidays in Metro Vancouver with a weight off their shoulders.

After a lengthy legal battle, the Canadian Federal Court ordered the government to officially stay the family’s deportation.

The family of five, who had been living in Canada for five years, was set to be deported to Mexico on Dec. 19 after the Canada Border Services Agency denied their refugee claim.

Initially, Zamorano and her family fled Mexico after facing threats of death and violence from organized crime.

Community and migrant support group Sanctuary Health announced the family’s win in court with a blog post thanking the community for their support.

Sanctuary Health member Omar Chu says there’s some relief with this latest decision. However, he notes the family still needs to obtain permanent residency to stay in Canada.

“We’re calling on the minister to help ensure a positive decision. With other families, we had received shocking negative decisions in the past and so we can never rule that out. So, all we can do is continue to show support, continue to write the minister, and continue to rally and advocate for this family and families across the country,” he told CityNews.

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Although they still have one more big obstacle to overcome, Chu explains the family is enjoying the relief for now.

“The stress of the situation has been a huge burden and knowing that they don’t have to leave in a week has been a huge weight off their shoulders.”

The family will continue living in New Westminster for now, where Zamorano, works at Royal Columbian Hospital and her nine-year-old daughter goes to school.

Zamorano has worked on the front lines at Royal Columbian Hospital since the start of the pandemic. Mike Old and the Hospital Employees Union have been working to help Zamorano and her family stay in the country.

“Claudia has put herself and her family’s health at risk since the beginning of the pandemic to help keep patients safe, and now is not the time to be deporting valuable healthcare workers like Claudia. We need to retain all the healthcare workers that we can,” Old explained.


The Union is hoping for permanent residency approval in the new year.

With files from OMNI NEWS

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