Welland MPP getting involved in fight to help St. Catharines family facing deportation
Welland MPP Cindy Forster getting involved in efforts to help a St. Catharines family facing deportation to Jamaica.
Natasha Gordon-Jones and her family are scheduled to be deported February 24th.
Forster has written an urgent letter to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen asking him to grant their appeal to stay.
Gordon-Jones and her three children fled Jamaica after her husband was shot and killed on his way work at a scrap metal business in 2011.
Gordon-Jones’ youngest son, Michael has been diagnosed with sickle cell anemia and gets treatment in Hamilton.
Her daughter is married to a Canadian, but she is also facing deportation.
Her eldest son is a straight A student at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School and has been accepted into Brock and Carleton University for aerospace engineering.
When asked by CKTB, St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle said he was aware of the case and working with the Minister but couldn't comment further due to privacy issues.
Forster's letter below:
February 8, 2017
The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, M.P. URGENT
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
Dear Minister Hussen:
As the newly appointed Minister of Immigration and as someone who came to this country as a refugee from war torn Somalia at the age of 16, I am asking for your urgent intervention to prevent a the deportation of a family in my riding on February 24th by Canada Border Service Agency, that may erase any hope of the future that Canada promises them.
Natasha Gordon-Jones came to Canada after her husband was murdered in Jamaica in 2011. She is a widowed mother of three children. Ms. Gordon-Jones and her children have close community ties in the Niagara region. All of her children attend school and her eldest son, Joshua-Lee Jones, is a senior at Holy Cross Catholic High school, who has been accepted to both Brock University and Carleton University engineering programs this fall.
Ms. Jones’ refugee status application was initially dismissed in early 2014 simply as a result of a previous lawyer omitting relevant and important facts from their appeal.
Given this information, it’s unacceptable that this family is forced from a country they have called home for the last five years I am urging you to do the right thing and take this information into account in granting their appeal to stay.
I understand the family kept its deportation fights a secret, until one of her sons, 17-year-old Joshua-Lee Jones, told his Grade 12 English class at Holy Cross Catholic High School two weeks ago to the shock of his classmates and staff at the school. Natasha fears their lives will be in jeopardy if they are sent back to Jamaica this month. She has spent the last five years in St. Catharines and has exhausted all efforts to stay in Canada. She has spent $25,000 on legal fees to stay in a country her and her family love.
As a fellow elected official tasked with doing what’s right for our communities, I am urging you to side step bureaucracy, do what’s right for this family, the community and the youth at Holy Cross High and rescind this deportation order. We owe it to the values that we stand by as Canadians to ensure that we don’t send this family back to a place that may have potentially deadly consequences for them.
Your time and urgent attention to this matter is appreciated.
I look forward to your prompt reply.
Cindy Forster, MPP