Woman seeks postponement in deportation to fight for custody of baby
Published Monday, February 3, 2014 12:53PM EST
A Montreal woman will ask a federal judge Tuesday to postpone her deportation to Mexico so she can attend a custody hearing concerning her one-year-old son.
Ivonne Hernandez, 41, is scheduled to be deported to Mexico on Friday, after having been denied her refugee claim in 2011.
Hernandez originally arrived in Montreal in 2009 and applied for refugee status based on the claim she was the victim of domestic abuse in Mexico.
While in Canada, Hernandez married a Montreal man and had a son. She says that man became abusive and she fled to a shelter.
But the courts granted her husband custody of the child. Now she fears if she’s deported she will never see her son again. Hernandez will ask a federal judge Tuesday to allow her to stay in Canada until at least March 6 so she can attend a custody hearing.
Stewart Istvanffy, Hernandez’s lawyer, says he is hopeful the judge will rule in his client’s favour, but says Hernandez’s case is indicative of a larger problem.
“A lot of these wild deportations that don’t respect rights and separate parents and children happen under the radar. In this case I believe she will probably stay eventually but there’s a real problem in the deportation process in this country,” he told CTV Montreal, adding that if a judge orders her back to Mexico she will have no rights to her baby.
Several organizations have also come to Hernandez’s defence.
“We (Canada) want the advantages of free trade (with Mexico) without offering support and solidarity to people,” Alex Conradi, the president of the Quebec Federation of Women, told CTV Montreal. “This is a classic case of them (the government) not really wanting to support women. What’s so frustrating and ironic is that this government is one that goes to all the international forums and says how much they’re doing for woman who are victims of violence and yet when it comes to concrete cases like this one, they’re not sending out the right message.”
A rally in support of Hernandez is scheduled for Tuesday outside the federal courthouse in Montreal.
With files from CTV Montreal