Undocumented migrant worker Vangie and her 6-year-old Canadian-born daughter McKenna are set to leave Canada on July 11th 2022. They are being deported to the Philippines.
McKenna is a happy and smart little girl. She is a special child. In 2021, McKenna was diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), a behavioral condition that needs special attention and minimal stress, especially at her age.
Given this recent diagnosis, getting deported to an urban poor community in the Philippines with Vangie’s family, who are virtually strangers to McKennna, will exacerbate McKenna’s condition. She was born in Canada and it’s the only home she knows. Living conditions in the Philippines are far different from what she’s familiar with. She does not speak the language and would not be able to access any social and health services she would need, especially for her difficult diagnosis. Her pending deportation has thrown McKenna into crisis, which will worsen if she’s deported to a place where she doesn’t speak the language, doesn’t know anyone and she has never been to.
Meanwhile, Vangie, McKenna’s mother, has been in Canada for over 12 years. She lost her status in 2015 because of abusive employers. Her employers harassed, abused, and assaulted her. They used her but failed to keep their promise to help her stay. While trying to pursue pathways for her to remain in Canada, Vangie gave birth to her lovely daughter McKenna Rose. With the precariousness of her immigration status, she struggled so much as a single mother, working to survive and care for her daughter.
In 2016, Vangie along with her organization Migrante, started the McKenna Rose campaign, a public campaign for Canadian-born children of undocumented parents to access healthcare in Alberta. It was a successful campaign and since 2017, it has allowed many other children to benefit from it. Through that work, she received a Human Rights Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Despite her situation, Vangie chose to be an active volunteer in the community. She is an active member of Migrante Alberta. She also volunteered with the Food Bank and her church.
The decision to deport the mom and her daughter is not fair. McKenna is a Canadian and should have the right to stay, like any other Canadian. Migrante Alberta is running a letter-writing campaign to stop their deportation. Over one thousand supporters sent letters to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser and Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendecino. Letters were also sent to other Members of Parliament. “Vangie is an active member of Migrante, we will do everything to fight for them to stay. They belong here,” said Nova Porquia, Migrante Alberta’s Vice Chairperson.
You can still support the campaign by writing to your MP, as well as ask others, be they organizations or individuals, to write (use the link https://www.migrantealberta.ca/stopthedeportation). You may also donate to the Vangie and McKenna support fund (e-transfer to: firstname.lastname@example.org).