Stop the Deportation, Stop the Injustice!
Let Danilo de Leon, migrants rights advocate, stay in Canada
August 2, 2022
EDMONTON, ALBERTA — Danilo de Leon, the Chairperson of Migrante Canada, will be deported to the Philippines on August 29, 2022.
In 2009, Danilo arrived in Edmonton, Alberta from the Philippines as a temporary foreign worker to work at Bee Clean, a cleaning company. Like thousands of temporary foreign workers, he helped to fill Canada’s labour shortages and continues to contribute to the Canadian economy. Due to unfortunate circumstances, his application to extend his open work permit was refused in 2017. With no status, he faces deportation from Canada.
Danilo has been an outspoken advocate for migrant workers’ rights in Alberta and in Canada. In 2010, he helped organize the “Justice for Janitors” campaign in his worksite at the University of Alberta and helped to successfully form a union which fought for their rights as workers. He is a founding member of Migrante Alberta and currently serves as the chairperson of Migrante Canada, a national organization of thirteen member organizations from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Danilo has represented Migrante Canada in local, national, and international initiatives advocating for the rights and welfare of Filipino migrants. His life and experiences as a temporary foreign worker have enabled him to speak on the struggles and lived experiences of vulnerable and precarious migrant workers. This was captured in the Canadian documentary “The End of Immigration?” which was released in 2012.
Danilo, like many migrant workers in Canada, has slipped through the cracks of the immigration system as a temporary foreign worker with precarious status. He does not have a clear pathway to permanent residence, so he has little to no access to his rights and to government services.
As a Filipino national, he could face political persecution if he is forced to return to the Philippines because of his beliefs and advocacy for migrant and human rights. The Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Act, signed into law in June 2020 has been strongly criticized by local and international human rights groups, could be applied to Danilo’s migrants rights’ advocacy. It is shocking that this law, which has been described as a setback for human rights in the Philippines, also applies to Filipinos living and working abroad who are easily labeled as ‘terrorists’ for simply speaking out about Filipino issues. Danilo’s strong advocacy for migrant workers rights puts Danilo and his family in grave risk.
Danilo De Leon is precisely what Canada needs. He has worked and lived in Canada for over ten years, pays his income taxes, gives back to his community through his volunteer work which included helping with the Edmonton Food Bank and the Edmonton General Hospital, and Danilo considers Canada his home. As a father of two daughters, Danilo took the sacrifice of leaving them in the Philippines to work in Canada so he could provide for them. He has worked tirelessly and has persevered with the hope that his daughters could join him and they can be reunited as one family.
Under the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, Canada is obligated to protect migrant workers like Danilo, who has been a staunch advocate for the rights and welfare of migrant workers.
Migrante Canada demands an end to deportations. Migrante Canada demands that the Canadian government commit to a long-term regularization program that will ensure that there are no two sets of workers: workers with all rights and another set of workers with few or no rights at all like Danilo de Leon.
Let us put an end to the injustices that migrant workers face in Canada once and for all.
Let us raise our voices in protest of how migrants are treated in Canada! Let us raise our voices in support of our call:
Stop the deportation of Danilo de Leon!