Carlo Escario has spent most of his adult life in Canada. A Filipino immigrant, Escario is a healthcare worker who has been working on the front lines of the pandemic. Despite the fact that he has risked his life to help others, and the fact that he has put down roots in Canada, he risks being deported this month.
Escario’s immigrant status was revoked because of a mistake he made years earlier in his immigration paperwork in failing to update his work permit application to include his now-estranged wife and their child. Escario has family and a life in Canada and does not wish to return to the Philippines. Nearly 50,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking Marco Mendicino, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, to allow Escario to stay. Last month, he was granted a temporary stay of deportation to allow him to remain in Canada long enough to receive his second COVID-19 vaccine, a reprieve made possible through the efforts of his many supporters, most notably Monica de Vera and Karla Villanueva Danan who rallied supporters with an action guide and a social media campaign that called on people to contact government officials. Through their tireless advocacy, the campaign to #KeepCarloInCanada long enough to get his vaccine was successful, but now they hope to help him stay permanently.
De Vera is serving as the Campaign Director of the #KeepCarloInCanada Coalition, which is being run through the support of volunteers and the organizations Migrante Canada and Anakbayan Toronto. “I know our emails, calls, tweets to Members of Parliament are being heard. We must continue to put pressure on the government so they do the right thing and let Carlo Escario stay as a Permanent Resident,” she said in a press release.
Escario has an interview scheduled with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on July 23 to determine whether or not he will be allowed to stay in the country. His supporters are doing everything they can to ensure that he is allowed to remain in Canada, and the #KeepCarloInCanada Coalition has assembled an action guide with resources to help him. The guide includes tips on how to call and email politicians who can help him with his case and advice on crafting social media posts to raise awareness. There is also an open letter individuals and organizations can sign in addition to the Change.org petition, as well as a link to a GoFundMe to help Escario with his legal fees.
Escario has worked hard to prove himself in a new country. He has made mistakes and has owned up to them, but a paperwork discrepancy shouldn’t force him out of the country he has made his home in, the country where his friends and family are. Moreover, Escario is a hero who has risked his life to help others during the pandemic. As the Action Guide reads, “if he’s good enough to work, he’s good enough to stay.”
“I’m really hoping that the government will let me stay,” said Escario. “I’m so thankful for the support I’ve received, you’ve made a difference.”
To learn more about how to help, check out the Action Guide. You can also help raise awareness on social media by posting these images created by Karla Villanueva Danan; be sure to use the hashtag #KeepCarloInCanada.
Update: Carlo Escario's deportation date has been set for August 5, 2021, but there's still time to take action. His deportation can be cancelled up until the time his plane takes off.