Judicial hearing on Jose Figueroa's deportation delayed

Jose Figueroa’s judicial hearing to see if he can stay in Canada on compassionate grounds has been delayed.

Figueroa’s day in court was set for Jan. 15 but the government didn’t send in some documents the court had requested. Because of that, the court date has been put over, said Figueroa. No new date has been set yet.

In the meantime, a vigil for Figueroa is planned for Thursday, Jan. 16 at 5 p.m., in front of the Walnut Grove Lutheran Church on 88 Avenue. Jan. 16 marks the third anniversary of the day the We Are Jose campaign launched in an effort to overturn the deportation order.

Other vigils are also planned that same day in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery at noon and in Toronto on Wednesday, outside the Canadian Border Service Agency.

Figueroa and his family spent Christmas and New Year’s together living inside the church. His three children wrote letters to the Minister of Immigration instead of letters to Santa this year. They asked for the government to let their dad stay in the country.

The Canadian Border Security Agency put out an arrest warrant for Figueroa in October, which sent the working Langley father of three to seek sanctuary in his church. He has lived there for more than two months now.

The Minister of Public Safety Stephen Blaney has the power to grant him exemption but there has been no such decision as of yet.

Figueroa arrived here as a refugee from El Salvador more than 16 years ago with his wife. He was ordered deported for his political involvement in the FMLN, a group which resisted the oppressive regime in El Salvador during the civil war.

FMLN now forms the government of El Salvador.

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