Warawa launches plea for Figueroa release

The Conservative MP reached across party lines in the recent letter.

  • Nov. 11, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Langley-Aldergrove’s MP has asked the minister of immigration to help Jose Figueroa remain in Canada.

Mark Warawa has asked John McCallum for reconsideration of Figueroa’s application to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Figueroa has spent more than a year in a Walnut Grove church, seeking sanctuary from a deportation order. He was found inadmissible to Canada in 2013 because of past involvement with El Salvador’s FMLN political party.

“To be clear, Mr. Figueroa has never posed a threat to Canada,” Warawa wrote in his letter. “He did not engage in any violent activities with the FMLN;rather, his past involvement with the FMLN during El Salvador’s Civil War included gathering public support for the organization. The FMLN is now the democratically elected government of El Salvador, with whom Canada enjoys good bilateral relations.”

The FMLN fought against the military regime that ruled El Salvador in the 1980s.

Warawa said the two strongest factors to be considered in the case are the interests of Canada and of Figueroa’s children.

Figueroa has worked diligently to provide for his family since arriving in Canada in 1997 with his wife, and has been a model citizen, Warawa wrote. He also has three children, all Canadian citizens, who rely on their father for emotional and financial support, Warawa wrote.

Shortly after the election, Warawa told the Langley Advance that with a new government in office, he would again make an appeal to the new incoming minister for immigration to allow Figueroa to remain with his family.

The letter was sent to McCallum, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale, and local politicians.


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