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Foreign workers given deadline to leave Canada




Carol Sandres


The Canada Border Services Agency told the foreign workers dubbed the 'three amigos' they have until May 19 to get out of Canada.

Newspaper title

Winnipeg Free Press

Full text

Adios, amigos.
The Canada Border Services Agency told the foreign workers dubbed the 'three amigos' they have until May 19 to get out of Canada.
"They are disappointed, but kind of expected it in a way," said Joy Mercado, an advocate with the non-profit organization Damayan Manitoba.
The globe-trotting foreign workers were arrested in Thompson last June for working at gas bar without having the proper permits. An Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator threw out their bid to stay in Canada in March.
Monday's election outcome could be a game-changer, though.
"We are still hopeful with the upcoming election that, whatever the new federal government will be, they will hear them out and we hope they will consider their case and the fact they're victims," said Mercado. The immigration minister is the only one with the power to let all three of them stay on compassionate grounds.
Two of the men still may have their application for temporary resident permits approved before May 19.
One has already been rejected. Ermie Zotomayor's application was turned down when labour market opinions for jobs he had lined up were not approved, said Mercado. Antonio Laroya and Arnisito Gaviola are still waiting on labour market opinions on job offers they've received, she said. They could end up getting temporary resident permits and be allowed to stay -- if their permits come before May 19.
The three men have not been able to work since they were arrested.
Labour, community groups and Legal Aid Manitoba have rallied to support them and get them a lawyer.
Now, the Three Amigos are rallying to support other workers by marching in Sunday's May Day parade, Mercado said. The Winnipeg Labour Council event "in support of equal rights, opportunities and progress for all" begins at 12:30 p.m. at Winnipeg City Hall.
The three men -- who've worked in several countries to support their families in the Philippines -- found their way to Alberta in low-paying jobs after paying thousands to a recruiter. When they were laid off before their work permits expired, they found new jobs last year in Thompson.
Their employer did not file the necessary paperwork as he promised, the workers said. The workers were arrested in June.
Their boss has been charged with hiring workers without work permits and misrepresentation.
In March, the Immigration and Refugee Board ruled at an admissibility hearing that the men were responsible for their own paperwork being in order and should be removed from Canada.
On Monday, May 2 -- election day -- the workers from the Philippines are going with Mercado to arrange their travel itineraries to leave.
The three men have to fax copies of their travel itineraries to the Canada Border Services Agency on May 4, she said.


Economic sectors


Content types

Policy analysis and Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

Public awareness

Geographical focuses

Manitoba and Philippines