MONTREAL (CITYNEWS) – A group of Montrealers gathered downtown on Wednesday morning to show solidarity with a frontline health-care worker who is facing deportation.
Mamadou Konate is an immigrant without official status who has worked in Quebec’s long-term care homes (CHSLDs) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is currently being detained at the immigration holding centre in Laval, Que.
His long-time friend Amelia Orellana said Wednesday evening that a judge revised and upheld the decision to keep him in the detention centre, meaning Konate will remain there until he is deported.
They don’t have a deportation date yet because of the logistical hurdles due to COVID, but if he isn’t deported by Oct. 19, he will have another hearing to see if there are any other options as he awaits deportation.
His supporters are asking for his immediate liberation. They are also demanding the suspension of his deportation notice, to allow the government time to re-evaluate his request for residency on humanitarian grounds.
Konate arrived in Canada in 2016 after being a victim of armed conflicts in Ivory Coast. He was recognized as a refugee by the Red Cross.
Since the start of the pandemic, Konate worked in Quebec’s seniors’ homes. He contracted COVID-19 in April as a result.
- Asylum seekers given special status
- Asylum seekers working on frontlines while being told they can’t stay in Canada
Konate was detained on Sept. 16 after voluntarily presenting himself to Immigration Canada in the presence of his lawyer. He wanted the government to suspend his pending deportation on humanitarian grounds – a request that was previously denied.