Mont de LaSalle’s high school in Laval fight to keep Alvarez Rivera family in Canada

By Robin Della Corte

Students in Mont de LaSalle high school in Laval shipped 1,500 postcards on Sept. 4, addressed to the Minister of Public Safety and to Federal Conservative Minister Steven Blaney to suspend the deportation notice given to the Alvarez Rivera family.

The mass mailing was in pursuit of a campaign launched this spring to put pressure on Ottawa to suspend the deportation notice Alvarez Rivera family received and to demand that the Canadian government suspend the removal order place upon the family of Alvarez Rivera’s to be deported back in El Salvador on Sept. 28.

The Alvarez Rivera family’s deportation order to El Salvador follows the Immigration and Refugee Board’s decision to reject their refugee claim back in 2011.

“Leaving El Salvador was an agonizing decision, but we want to stay in Canada for the safety of our daughters” Elsy Alvarez Rivera, the mother, said in a press release.

There are fears for the safety of the family if they were to be deported, after leaving their country in 2009 due to death threats by members of a street gang known as Maras 18, one of the most violent gangs in the country.

Prior to this event, students from the Mont de LaSalle high school already organized a demonstration on Aug. 21 to help raise awareness regarding the circumstances.

Other then Mont-de-LaSalle’s school, Solidarity Committee (SolAR), Solidarity Across Borders and Laval MP Rosane Doré-Lefebvre also supports the fight to help the family gain residence in Canada.

“This is a reasonable request that appeals to one’s common sense,” Cynthia Beaudry, from the organization Solidarity Across Borders stated in a press release.

“The Alvarez Rivera family has lived in Canada since 2009. Their home is our home. What risk is there in waiting until their application for residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds has had a chance to be processed?”

Campaigns are continuing and remain ongoing. There has already been a Facebook page created to support the family.

The mother works as a housekeeper at a downtown hotel and the father is a cook at Scores Restaurant. Their 21-year-old daughter Alejandra is an educator at a nursery school in Montreal and Rebecca, 17, and Veronica, 14, are students at the Mont de LaSalle high school in Laval.

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