Support Sheila Sedinger




On 25 August, Sheila received the news that her deportation was stayed for two years. No doubt her status in Canada will be regularized long before that time is up.

Sheila announced the news on Radio Canada:…/006-mexicaine-expulsion



Personal Statement by Sheila Sedinger, August 2014

My name is Sheila Sedinger. I am a 27 year old professional Massotherapist, loving mother of two young girls, loyal partner and devoted friend. On August 30th, Immigration Canada wants to deport me; separate me from my children, partner, my other family members, friends and this corner of the country that is my home.

I am about to tell you a very personal and painful part of my life. This is not easy but I want my story to be heard, not only for me and my family, but for others living similar injustices. I refuse to keep my mouth shut and hide all of this out of fear.

I have lived in Montreal, Quebec since 2005. I was born in Mexico City. I came to Canada to visit my father and to get away from a series of traumatic experiences I had lived in Mexico due to a violent ex-couple that lives there. In addition, I come from an American and European family, and Mexico never seemed like home to me.

I had my first beautiful daughter in May 2006. I was sponsored in January 2008 and the application was accepted the same year. Later that year, in August, I gave birth to my second daughter. The year looked promising but the worst happened: the person sponsoring me was accused and convicted of fracturing the leg of my three week old baby girl. My daughters and I lived a nightmare with Youth Protection, shelters and the police involved. Moreover, because of the criminal record, the person sponsoring me became inadmissible to Canada and the accepted sponsorship application was nullified. However, as a protected person, my sponsor was authorized to remain in Canada. Because I was still in that file, I would too.

When my sponsor was finally sentenced in 2011, I called Immigration Canada to ask about my status. They did not tell me that there were problems but, on the contrary, said everything was in order. During this time, I never had any problems at all with my papers; I had my social insurance card, work permit, letter of acceptance from Quebec (CSQ), and my health care card.
In the fall of 2012, several institutions gave me different versions of my immigration status. To clear up the situation, I called again Immigration Canada. They said that my status remained the same and that I wasn’t at risk of deportation, but they advised me to start a permanent residence application on humanitarian grounds since the sponsorship wouldn’t proceed. In October 2013, I contacted Solidarity Across Borders and we began gathering proofs of the strong reasons for me to stay here.
In July 2013 I had a bicycle accident, detached my kneecap, atrophied several muscles and deviated the lower part of my leg. I now walk painfully with a cane and have been without work ever since. This injury had a significant negative impact on my life.

In May of this present year, immigration suddenly called to say that I had to leave Canada because I hadn’t have any status since 2011. My fiancé, Michael-John Carriere, hired a lawyer, Me. Angela Potvin, who helped us to submit my application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds, a sponsorship application from Michael, and an application for a Temporary Residence Permit. However, I was told I must leave Canada on June 26th. The deportation agent refused to grant a stay so we were forced to apply to go to the Federal Court. At the last minute, my lawyer received a call from the deportation agent saying that there was no need to go to the federal court and that they would allow me to stay indefinitely unless there was a drastic change in my circumstances.

We thought that everything was fine. However, on July 4th while I was doing the motion for sole custody of my daughters, a representative of the Minister of Immigration appeared in court to make sure I obtain the passports of my daughters. On July 7th, in another appointment with the deportation agent, I was informed that they were only giving me a chance to get the passport of my kids so that I could take them with me, not allowing me to finish the Custody arrangements. She left me clear that one way or another, I had to leave – with or without my kids. The agent gave me a new deportation date on August 30th. This is the birthday of my youngest daughter, the same daughter whose leg was fractured.

The very next day, my lawyer requested that the deportation be suspended. Three weeks later and after a lot of insisting, we finally received a negative response. Once again, we applied to the Federal Court; I have been given a hearing for August 26th, four days before my scheduled deportation.

I feel humiliated, tricked and enraged. Immigration Canada denied me the chance to defend myself in Federal Court the first time, gave me false hope, and is again trying to kick me out for no reason, on the birthday of my daughter.

I have lived here for 9 years now. I have family here; not only my daughters, but also my father, uncles, aunts, cousins and nieces. I know very well English and Speak fluently French. I’ve studied here, worked here; this is my home and the home of my two daughters, who are born Canadian. All my friends are here and I don’t know anyone any more in Mexico. I am a Montrealer and many of the people who know me didn’t even realize that I wasn’t a born Canadian until I had to break to them this unfortunate news.

This situation is affecting me at a very deep level since I also suffer from Intense Chronic PTSD because of the traumatic experiences I had in Mexico. My leg is seriously injured and I can’t walk without the support of a cane. I haven’t been able to get treatment for hereditary pre-cancerous cells on my uterus since immigration cut off access to all resources, including my health card. I haven’t even been able to work because of all of these circumstances, which means that I have no resources, since all my savings have gone into solving this immigration issue.

Canadian Border Services Agency has not even allowed me to finish my divorce and custody arrangements, therefore I won’t be able to bring my kids with me. Due to present circumstances, instead of living full-time with their Mom, they would go into foster care, and risk not seeing me again, or at least not for many years. If I am allowed to bring them with me to Mexico, I have no way to support them nor protect them, we would be living in the streets in very dangerous areas of the city. My oldest daughter suffers from severe speech delay and both my daughters are emotionally fragile. They are presently receiving support from several institutions. Simply put, my family and the other people that I help on a weekly basis need me here.

It is completely unfair that they are punishing my daughters and me for someone else’s crime, committed 6 years ago; letting my previous sponsor to stay, but destroy my family in this way… My daughters have suffered enough. Honestly I see no reason to be deported, I’ve followed their regulations since day one and I am completely integrated. We are just trying to live a peaceful life without problems with my fiancé, Michael-John Carriere, who is also Canadian.

I think this situation is very inhuman. I am not the first woman who has been threatened with deportation, without their kids, in such circumstances. There is a pattern: immigrant women with a traumatic pasts, mostly single mothers of Canadian-born children. Of course, single mothers who have survived violence are not the only targets; entire families with children who are happy, safe and well-established are being destroyed by this deportation system.

I am Canadian, I am a proud Montrealer. I want to ask immigration to recognize this and stop ignoring facts, not only for my family, but also, with your help, to raise awareness of this pattern of injustice.

Sheila Sedinger