MIGRANTE Canada’s Statement on Danilo De Leon’s Deferred Removal Order

Press Release

August 28, 2022

Migrante Canada welcomes the Canadian government’s decision to postpone the removal order for Migrante Canada’s Chairperson Danilo de Leon. The removal order has been postponed  “until the final determination of Danilo’s application for leave and judicial review of the Decision” by the Federal Court in charge of Danilo’s case. The threat of deportation still exists.

Migrante Canada reiterates its position that Danilo de Leon should be allowed to stay in Canada because he faces the serious threat of political persecution, arrest and detention, harm to his life and safety from the Philippine government, the military and the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). De Leon is an active migrant rights activist  who has been outspoken about the Philippines’ poor human rights record and has always advocated for migrant rights and welfare. De Leon is also  the Chairperson of Migrante Canada and a founding member of Migrante Alberta. Migrante Alberta and Migrante B.C. are chapter members of Migrante Canada and have been red-tagged as being “fronts” or accused as having connections with the Communist Party of the Philippines, vile accusations fueled by  disinformation spread by paid trolls and hecklers.

The threat to  De Leon’s life and safety is real. The granting of a “stay of removal” is critical at this time.  Filipino activists, including labour leaders, migrants advocates, journalists, lawyers, peasant leaders, environment and land defenders, and human rights defenders continue to be targeted by the  the NTF-ELCAC  using the unconstitutional Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), a law which has been criticized by Philippine lawyers and people’s organizations and international human rights organizations.  The government intent is to  malign and silence the critics and dissenters, arrest and detain them, and in the worst-case scenario, target them for extrajudicial killings.

There is still the agony of waiting for the decision of the judicial review but the deferral of the removal order until then is welcome.  Whether  De Leon is allowed to stay or is removed from Canada to go back to the Philippines, where the threat of persecution, harm to his life and safety are very real, remains to be the question. Meanwhile,  De Leon will continue his advocacy for the rights and welfare of his fellow migrant workers and other undocumented workers who, like him, are looking for a better future in Canada.

Migrante Canada and its member organizations will continue to campaign to stop the deportation of Danilo de Leon and we will continue to push for a Regularization Program that will help provide permanent status to all undocumented workers in Canada. 

Together with workers, migrant-serving organizations, unions, and communities, Migrante Canada will continue to call on the Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser to intervene in the case of Danilo de Leon. ###