March 4, 2021
The Honourable Marco Mendicino, MP
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
SUBJECT: In Support of Ms. Kherin Dimalanta’s application for Permanent Residence on humanitarian grounds
Dear Minister Mendicino,
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Centre Canada (PCC), I am writing to support the permanent resident application of Ms. Kherin Dimalanta under the pilot program of the home child-care pathway. The PCC is a member-based nonprofit organization of Filipino-Canadians residing in the National Capital Region. Our mission is to serve Filipino-Canadians and help them become better able to contribute to a better Canada. The PCC urges you as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to support Ms. Dimalanta’s exceptional request by using your ministerial discretion to rapidly and successfully process her residency application so that she can stay in Canada, access the life-saving healthcare she needs, and be able to see her children again.
Ms. Dimalanta’s story is not an unusual one for many Filipino caregivers who come to Canada to care for Canadian families. Hundreds of Filipino-Canadians have come to Canada through that route delivering badly-needed care support services through their dedication, hard work and firm belief that Canada will become home for them. At 33 years old, Kherin took on this opportunity, leaving behind her own young children with the resolve that she would be able to apply for permanent residency after completion of the 2-year requirement. What is different in her story is 6 months after arriving in Canada in 2017, she fell ill with chronic kidney disease which she only learned about it after a routine blood examination for an insurance policy. Technically, this made her ineligible to apply for permanent residency. However, without the life-saving dialysis treatment she required, Kherin was told by her doctors that she would die in 2 weeks.
This desperate situation is through no fault of hers, and we earnestly believe she should be granted permanent residency under humanitarian grounds. Two years ago, Kherin already applied to Immigration Canada to allow her to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. While waiting, she also applied for a temporary residency permit so she could have access to healthcare and could travel out of Canada to see her 2 children in the Philippines. Until now, she continues to see no action on her file by Immigration Canada. In effect, the immigration department has been holding Kherin without safe and secure access to healthcare and without access to her children for the past 2 years.
During this pandemic, Kherin, like many immigrant workers in Canada, continues working as an essential service worker to support Canadians. She is caring for the children of two frontline healthcare workers (an ICU physician and a psychologist), whose work has been vital in the pandemic response. Her friends and supporters in the community have undertaken a “go fund me” campaign to help pay for her medical expenses. Kherin has given so much and deserves better treatment by Canada. She deserves to fulfill that dream and not be punished just because she has fallen sick.
As members of the Filipino-Canadian community, we are deeply concerned by the lack of action on the part of Immigration Canada that has put Kherin’s health and her family at further hardship. These actions are not consistent with our Canadian values. It is time for Kherin’s case to be resolved.
We, the Board members of PCC, look forward to your favorable action to give Kherin Dimalanta permanent residency in Canada on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. This decision will enable her to have access to the healthcare she desperately needs while continuing to care for Canadian families, allow her to visit her family in the Philippines and eventually bring them to Canada.
PCC Board Members:
Margarita Anzures-Berry, Chairperson
Lota Bertulfo, Vice Chair for Internal Affairs
Janet Pangilinan, Vice Chair for External Affairs
Shaila Safaee Chalkasra, Secretary
Charito Babol, Treasurer
Kherin Dimalanta’s story was carried by CBC on Monday January 25, 2021. Here is the link:
Go fund me: https://gofund.me/2c403b9d