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MP fights to help senior stay with Langford family
Surjit Bhandal faces deportation back to India while MP Randall Garrison is fighting for her to stay.
The 83-year-old woman was notified Dec. 7 that she will be deported with a pre-removal assessment Jan. 9. Before then she was waiting for her application to be processed.
“This makes no sense,” Garrison said. “This is a compassion application. In fact she is a parent.”
Surjit came to Canada five years ago on a visitors visa. Jasminder Bhandal, her biological nephew who calls her mom, is fighting for her right to stay in Canada.
Garrison says she is frail and needs the assistance of a cane and other people to help her walk and move around. She lives on Bear Mountain in Langford with Jasminder.
“This is the peril of her life, no one can care for her (in India),” Garrison said, adding the family is worried if she is sent back to India Surjit will die or be taken advantage of.
Jasminder was raised by Surjit from birth. She also raised his brother. The men’s biological mother is disabled and was not able to care for her boys. The men grew up in India with their mother, father and Surjit.
“They call her mother. They have two mothers,” Garrison explained.
The men and their biological parents were able to immigrate to Canada 20 years ago, but since Surjit is their aunt and not considered immediate family she was unable to come to Canada.
Jasminder’s father stayed in India to care for Surjit and when he died five years ago Jasminder and his brother brought her here on a visitor visa.
Jasminder cares for Surjit and covers all her costs along with his brother who lives in Surrey.
“The minister has discretion to offer her permanent residency or temporary residence,” Garrison said.
“I don’t care how he uses is power, just as long as he uses it.”