Hernandez Deportation Pushed Back

Ongoing Custody Battle Halts Forced Return to Mexico

Ivonne Hernandez has had her deportation date pushed back until after her hearing for the custody of her 13-month-old son. Photo Shaun Michaud

The deportation date for Ivonne Hernandez, a Mexican refugee claimant who was to be deported without her Canadian-born infant on Friday, has been pushed back so she can make arrangements for her ongoing custody battle for her son.

“She just collapsed when she heard the good news,” said Annie Lapalme of Solidarity Across Borders’ Montreal division, one of the groups supporting her cause. “There’s definitely hope for [her custody case hearing].”

Following the Jan. 10 ruling of a Superior Court judge in St-Jérôme, Hernandez lost custody of her 13-month-old son due to her lack of refugee status, despite her claims that the father had abused her psychologically and physically.

Her deportation date was then set a month before a hearing granting her a last chance at regaining custody of her son on March 6.

“She had been misrepresented—it was a very last-minute thing. This time around, she’ll be properly prepared as she’ll have the time to devise a strategy with her new lawyer,” said Lapalme.

She added that they did not yet know how long the removal date had been pushed back, but that it would grant her enough time to try and regain custody of her infant son, which her immigration lawyer Stewart Istvanffy deemed the first priority at a press conference Monday morning.

Even if Hernandez is granted custody, she still faces deportation, joined by her Canadian-born child.

Istvanffy represented Hernandez Tuesday morning in front of Federal Court Judge Sean Harrington in what the Canadian Border Services Agency calls a pre-removal risk assessment—an opportunity for a refugee claimant like Hernandez to push their deportation date back.