Support Humberto as he fights deportation!
Migrants have been pouring out of Mexico in unprecedented numbers, seeking asylum from the drug war and looking for a better life. Humberto is one of those people.
"I left Mexico because at the end of 2008 I had a conflict with someone from the mafia in my region. Because of the new administration in the State of Veracruz under Governor Fidel Herrera Beltrán. That event brought me serious problems. As we all know, Mexico is a place of impunity and there is a lot of corruption. The authorities could not guarantee my security and any protection to my physical integrity and that of my family. Therefore, I chose the best option at that moment, which was to come to Canada."
Under former president Felipe Calderon (2006-2012), the situation in Mexico worsened. As part of the drug war, upwards of 100,000 people have died. This situation continues under the government of President President Enrique Peña Nieto.
"I arrived to the airport and claimed refugee status. After a long process of two years, my demand was rejected, as with many other refugee claims. We must remember that Mexico is classified as a 'safe country,' which means that for the Canadian state, there are no problems in Mexico."
Canada declared Mexico a “safe country” in February 2013, even as the number of murdered and disappeared people continued to mount. This resulted in an increase in deportations. In March 2017, CBC News reported that the Canada Border Services Agency had detained more Mexican migrants in the first two months of 2017 than in all of 2016 period.
"After I was rejected as refugee, I decided to remain as an undocumented immigrant. I started to feel the precarity of living like that, without access to healthcare, no right to go to school, no right to get a driver’s license, no right to rent an apartment, and many other situations that seriously complicate your life. It is very difficult to move forward, to get what people understand as a a better life, especially in a country like Canada."
Many people choose to remain in Canada, despite the struggles they face as undocumented workers. The threat of deportation keeps migrants from asserting their rights in the workplace. This means that employers are able to get away with paying less than minimum wage for difficult and sometimes dangerous work.
"The jobs one has to do here are the worst, the worst paid, with the worst work schedules, with the hardest days you can imagine. There are many hard situations that people cannot bear. People get sick, there are many situations like that. There are also many abuses from the [temporary work placement] agencies. Many placement agencies don’t pay you when you are undocumented. There are many examples of sad and serious situations and conditions when one works in the black labour market."
Last year, Humberto was arrested on his way to work. He was jailed for several days, before being released on bond with funds raised by friends. But he is still facing deportation to Mexico, where his life is at risk. He needs help with day-to-day expenses as he awaits a ruling on his immigration status and fights to stay in Canada.
"My current situation is the following: I was arrested in June 2016. Right now I am in the middle of a process called pre-removal risk assessment, a process to check if there are risks in sending me back. I am doing this video to fundraise the expenses related with this process. And for now that is my general situation, thank you very much."