Last summer, Danilo De Leon, the chairperson of Migrante Canada, was set to be deported to the Philippines by the government of Canada. This order was stayed for a ‘risk assessment’, but the threat of deportation remained. Now, Danilo is once again facing deportation. CPSO condemns these despicable actions carried out against him, as well as other undocumented workers, by the Canadian government.
Danilo first arrived in Edmonton, Alberta from the Philippines in 2009 as a temporary foreign worker to work at Bee Clean, a cleaning company. Danilo has lived and worked in Canada for over ten years, pays his income taxes, gives back to his community through his volunteer work which included helping with the Edmonton Food Bank and the Edmonton General Hospital. Danilo considers Canada his home. Danilo’s requests to extend his open work permit and legal status have been denied, as if his years of working and servicing his community in Canada mean nothing. As a father of two daughters, Danilo made the difficult decision of leaving them in the Philippines to work in Canada in order to provide for them. He has worked tirelessly and has persevered with the hope that his daughters could join him and they can be reunited as one family.
As the Chairperson of Migrante Canada, Danilo is an outspoken migrants’ rights advocate. Both Migrante Global and Migrante Alberta have been red-tagged by associates of the Philippine state which means his deportation can easily become a death sentence. State sanctioned killings of human rights activists are regularly carried out by the AFP under the guise the of war on drugs and the war on terror, which are funded by both the US and Canadian military. Despite this the Canadian government has deemed Danilo’s deportation to the Philippines as posing little risk.
The plight of undocumented workers such as Danilo is directly caused by neo-liberal policies of the reactionary Government of the Republic of the Philippines, which is directly supported by western capitalists and imperialists. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) remittances account for about 10 percent of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). They were made a formal and essential part of the economy of the Philippines in 1974, when then-Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree 442 or the 1974 Labor Code. Feudal landownership, rapidly rising inflation and high unemployment drive many Filipinos abroad.
This, combined with the comprador class deliberately keeping the Philippines underdeveloped and large multinational corporations extracting superprofits results in the Philippines depending on imports from western imperialist countries despite the natural abundance of the islands.
Foreign workers facing precarious circumstances like Danilo’s is far too common. In the eyes of the Canadian government, they are good enough to work, but not good enough to stay. CPSO stands with Migrante Canada in demanding the regularization of all workers now! Paste the following link into your browser to sign the petition: bit.ly/LetDaniloStayPetition . Migrante has reached their goal of 1000 signatures by Feb 19! Let’s reach 1500!
#LetDaniloStay #RegularizeNow #RegularizationForAll