Langley father fighting deportation may move to Manitoba

José Figueroa, who is facing deportation, is unable to find work in Langley. He is appealing his deportation, which could take seven to nine years for a ruling on his application. - Langley Times file photo
José Figueroa, who is facing deportation, is unable to find work in Langley. He is appealing his deportation, which could take seven to nine years for a ruling on his application.
— image credit: Langley Times file photo

After 14 years in Langley, José Figueroa is thinking about moving.

The married father of three lost his job after he took his son on a two-month cross-country trip to raise public awareness about his fight to stay in Canada since he was ordered deported.

Now, Figueroa says he and his family are being supported by his older sister while he tries to find another job.

He has over 10 years experience working in a warehouse, but he will consider anything at this point.

“We are in a really bad situation,” Figueroa says.

“We need to survive this period.”

He says he has not applied for Employment Insurance benefits because he is worried about being viewed as a “burden” on society, something that could hurt his appeal of the order deporting him to his native El Salvador.

His wife has not worked since 2002 when their son José Ivan was diagnosed autistic.

Figueroa says he is considering a move to Manitoba because it appears he might be able to get public health care coverage for his son, unlike B.C. where he was refused.

“I have to do what’s best for the family,” Figueroa says.

During his tour, he says he discovered that different provinces have different approaches to people who have been refused Canadian citizenship but have appealed the ruling.

And Winnipeg has a large Salvadoran community.

The father of three Canadian-born children is fighting to remain in Canada after he was ordered deported back to his native El Salvador for belonging to the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a group linked to violent acts against the regime that ruled El Salvador during the civil war between 1980 and 1992.

Even though Figueroa was a student who associated with the nonviolent wing of the FMLN, the law says a person is inadmissible to Canada if they are found guilty of “...being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage [in] the subversion by force of any government ...”

The FMLN has since become the government of El Salvador after winning a democratic election.

Figueroa has been told it will be seven to nine years before there is a ruling on his application to the ministry of public safety for “ministerial relief” that would allow him to remain in Canada.

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