A Chilean man who came to Canada to help his ailing mother is due for deportation on Saturday because his mother cannot sponsor him.
Hector Reyes came to Montreal to help his mother Julia Hidalgo cope with her ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Hidalgo’s condition means a tough regimen of medication and constant care.
“I need him because he helps me in so many ways,” Hidalgo said. “I can’t imagine what I am going to do alone.”
Reyes came from Chile to take care of his mother three years ago and is now his mother’s main support network. Hidalgo has been in Canada for more than 30 years.
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He arrived in Montreal and found a job, making him the household’s breadwinner.
The Canadian government approved Hidalgo’s request to sponsor her son for immigration, but the province turned Reyes down. He was denied a bid for refugee status as well.
Sponsorship rules stipulate the sponsor has to earn more than the person they are sponsoring.
However, because Hidalgo cannot work, she is unable to financially support her son on paper even if he is the one supporting the household in reality.
“I don’t know how long I am going to live. Maybe one year, maybe two years. No more than that,” Hidalgo said.
Reyes said he wants to be with his mother in her final years. "My mother's condition is degrading very quickly," he said in Spanish.
Immigration rights lawyer Mostafa Henaway said the government needs to step in and stop Reyes’s deportation.
He said Reyes is actually saving the Quebec government money because he is performing the services the CLSC and health care workers would have to perform in his absence.
“It’s Hector that’s doing the work of social services,” Henaway said.
The only option Reyes has is to file for an emergency stay of deportation on humanitarian grounds.
He is scheduled to be deported back to Chile tomorrow.