Montreal, Monday, February 27th, 2005 — After taking sanctuary at the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce church in Montreal more than one-year ago, the Ayoub family - Khalil Ayoub, 67, Nabih Ayoub, 69 and Thérèse Boulos Haddad, 62 - have won their battle to remain in Canada. This past Sunday, after the church service at the congregation of the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce church, the Palestinian Refugee Support Committee of the Notre-Dame de Grace Church publicly declared the news of the Ayoub families’ acceptance, to a cheering congregation and supporters from the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees who had gathered at the church.In the context of this concrete victory, the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees stresses the importance of continuing to build public support and solidarity with ongoing struggle of more-than 100 Palestinian refugees, who continue to face deportation from Canada. The Ayoub family’s victory brings a sense of hope and inspiration to the ongoing struggle of these Palestinian refugees against the crisis of deportation in their community created by the policies of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
The Ayoub family, whose Application for Permanent Residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds in Canada has been officially accepted by CIC, will continue to live at the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce church for the near future. They must now attempt to piece back-together their lives in Montreal, which were torn-apart when Immigration Canada issued a deportation order for the family in January 2004.
It was more than one-year ago that the Ayoub family publicly announced to the people of Montreal, Canada and the world their decision to defy the deportation order issued by CIC. Under imminent threat of deportation to a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, the Ayoub family were forced to take sanctuary. During the year the family spent in sanctuary, they became a living symbol of the ongoing struggle against Palestinian deportations from Canada.
Today, more than 100 Palestinian refugees in Canada face imminent deportation. Like the Ayoub family, most of the refugees are from the refugee camps of Lebanon and many are also from the Occupied Territories. Their claims for refugee status in Canada have been systematically rejected in recent years and have fallen subject to CIC draconian policies of detention and deportation.
As the Ayoub families’ declares victory in their struggle against deportation and for status in Canada, the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees, has outlined various ways in which people can concretely support the ongoing fight against Palestinian deportations. Your solidarity and support for this struggle is needed more now than ever, given that there are Palestinian refugees who continue to face immanent deportation within the coming months. Outlined below are various ways in which you can support.