Time running out to save widow and toddler hiding in Afghanistan, Winnipeg family says
An Afghan family living in Winnipeg issued a desperate plea Sunday to bring their daughter-in-law and grandson to Canada.
The family said time is running out to save their lives because the woman (who is being called ‘Amena’) and her son are hiding in Kabul and the two-year-old boy isn’t doing well.
“The child has a high fever and he is very sick. She cannot take the child to the doctor. The mother herself, she is very ill. She is suffering from depression,” said the boy’s grandmother.
CTV News is protecting the family's identity.
The couple said they first applied for their son, Amena and grandson to come to Canada in 2016 as privately sponsored refugees. They said the three of them went to India to start the process, but in the fall of 2017 returned to Afghanistan because Amena's relative was dying. Their son was killed before they went back.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said it’s working to process Amena’s application.
“The request to expedite (Amena’s) application for permanent residence as a Privately Sponsored Refugee was received by IRCC’s New Delhi office on February 8, 2018. The next step of the process is the interview which is an important step in a resettlement application to assess the eligibility and admissibility of a refugee applicant from outside Canada. However, it is important to note that the interview cannot proceed until (Amena) is able to enter India so that the High Commission in New Delhi can schedule an interview,” IRCC said in an email to CTV News.
Farima Afaq has been helping the family with the case. She said because Amena stayed past her visa back in 2016, India will no longer allow her in the country, not clearing the system.
"If Amena and the child are not taken out of this situation they will lose them, as they did their son,” said Afaq.
Two weeks ago supporters wrote dozens of letters to Winnipeg MPs, the immigration minister and prime minister, now in the mail.
The Afghan family initially became a target for the Taliban after supporting education for women, Afaq said.
The family would like someone from IRCC or the Canadian government to write a letter to Indian officials on their behalf, in the hopes of allowing them back in the country.
“If they can go to India for interview, is the hope. We have hope," said the boy’s grandfather.
“We beg to the government of Canada to help with this situation,” said the boy’s grandmother.
“Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is aware of [Amena’s] difficult situation and is looking at possible options. Departmental officials will be contacting her directly to determine next steps,” a spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said in an email to CTV News Tuesday.