photo grab of the online petition
TORONTO – Filipinos are rallying behind a late caregiver’s son to be granted permanent resident (PR) status in Canada.
The growing petition for Kenneth Aldovino to stay highlights the plight of Pinoy dependents whose PR
Application goes in limbo when their sponsor suddenly passes away.
The online petition calls for help to let Aldovino live out the dream that his mother, Edna, planned out for him when she joined the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) in 2009.
Edna succumbed to cancer last August, but not before filing her PR application and being reunited with Kenneth after years of separation.
But Kenneth's status in Canada is currently in limbo, as his visitor’s visa expired last month.
"We wanted to raise awareness within the Filipino community and communities here in Toronto to let Kenneth stay. His mom worked really hard and the promise was for him to have a future here in Canada,” said Jesson Reyes of Anakbayan Toronto.
Task Force Kenneth launched the online petition and support campaign for to call the attention of Immigration Minister Chris Alexander to his plight and that of other families of Pinay caregivers who passed away.
With their untimely demise dependents' statuses are left hanging as the PR application takes more than three years to process.
"When Edna came to this country in 2009 under the live-in caregiver program, the deal is as follows: Canada would promise her that she could establish a future for her children in Canada if she will give up two years of her life and look after Canadian children. She assured her son that this is in his best interest; that she is looking for a better future not just for herself, but for her son,” said Atty. Guidy Mamann.
Mamann further explained, “She has fulfilled her end of the bargain. She has done her two years of service and she has paid the government fees and submitted her application and she never deviated from the law. We owe it to her son to make sure he gets to claim his inheritance from his mom."
Supporters and other dependents in similar cases are also aiming for some policy changes.
Last November, the Canadian Council for Refugees passed a resolution for PR applications of caregivers to proceed even with the untimely deaths of the sponsors.
Pinoys and other migrant groups lobbied for the passing of the resolution.
Supporters of Kenneth and others like him are hopeful Canada will listen to an appeal of an only child, whose dream is to fulfill his mother's dying wish: A better life in Canada.