Canada cancels deportation of healthcare hero

The Canadian government has suspended the deportation order issued against Filipino COVID-19 frontline health worker Carlo Escario following a public outcry.

“Elated by the news that the government did the right thing by cancelling the removal of our client, Carlo Escario,” Escario’s lawyer Natalie Domazet announced this morning. “As a front-line healthcare worker, his circumstances deserved compassionate consideration from the onset.”

Opposition NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was among high profile Canadian politicians asking Canada to reconsider the decision to deport Escario, who had been working directly with COVID-19 patients in the intensive-care unit  at Toronto General Hospital since the start of the pandemic.

A petition urging Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, had received more than 8,000 signatures.

Escario arrived in Toronto in 2007 as a live-in caregiver and became a permanent resident in 2010. 

But his immigrant status was revoked in 2013 because failed to declare he was married and had a child in the Philippines.

Escario had admitted to immigration officials that he married his now-estranged wife while waiting to come to Canada under the Live-In-Caregiver Program.

Escario said that he failed to declare the marriage because he feared that it would cause further processing delays to his work permit application, which records show took more than 18-months to be approved.

Being deported would’ve meant that Escario would’ve missed his second doze of the Pfizer vaccine, which is not offered in the Philippines.

But thousands of Canadians felt that Escario should be allowed to stay because of his services to the community.

“Carlo came to Canada to help people and he’s stepped up during a pandemic risking his health to serve others,”  Toronto resident Corey Derouin said. “In a time when every healthcare worker is desperately needed, we need to step up and help him”

“Migrant workers, especially health care workers, have been on the frontlines of the pandemic,” another Toronto resident Fatima Barron said. “They come from far to serve as the backbone for Western countries like Canada. The Duterte administration has poorly handled the pandemic in the Philippines, focusing on militarized, anti-people policies. To deport him in this heightened time is an injustice. Let Carlo stay!”