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November 15, 2010 permalink
Canada's immigration is about to create three orphans, as mother Paula Terry, lacking proper credentials, has been ordered to leave the country by today. She will be abandoning her Canadian-citizen children ages 8, 4 and 3. Since mother and children are citizens of different countries they cannot legally live together.
Breast-feeding mom told to leave Canada
A Ladner woman, who says she’s being forced to leave the country by noon Monday despite being married to a Canadian and having three Canadian-born children, is worried the federal order will split her family apart.
Paula Terry, 48, said she’s been issued an exclusion order by Canadian Border Services Agency that prevents her from returning to Canada for a year.
“They said they can arrest me if I don’t leave or they will issue a warrant for my arrest,” she said.
The mother of nine children, four of whom are adults living in the U.S., moved to Canada about 10 years ago. She married Ken LaBossiere, 55, an ironworker in 2004.
The couple have three children, ages eight, four and three, and live in Ladner with Terry’s two teenaged children from previous relationships.
She assumed she had the legal right to live in Canada, until this past summer.
“As soon as I got married and had Canadian kids, I stopped worrying [about my citizenship],” she said. “I really didn’t think I was here illegally. Until they came here in the summer. It was a bit of a shock.”
She said she paid the $500 fee to begin the sponsorship process, but suffers from dyslexia and post-traumatic stress disorder from living in an abusive relationship with her first husband and had trouble with filling it out.
The application, which required FBI checks among other data from the several states she has lived in, was returned as incomplete.
“I’m not really good at filling out forms,” she said. “If you saw the list of what they wanted you to do, it’s really daunting.”
She enlisted the help of a University of B.C. law student, who wrote that Terry’s removal from Canada would cause “undue hardship and irreparable harm” to the school-aged children and the three-year-old, who is still breastfeeding, as well as to LaBossiere.
Her children’s school principal wrote a letter urging officials to consider delaying the order until the end of the school year because “her absence from the family will bring disruption of routines, school attendance and emotional support provided by a mother for all the children.”
CBSA formally rejected Terry’s request for a deferral of the removal order on Nov. 9.
Terry said she doesn’t have friends or relatives to stay with in the U.S. and will likely check into a YMCA in Bellingham with her three-year-old.
Immigration and Border Services spokesmen weren’t available for comment Sunday.
Source: The Province (Vancouver)