Jose Figueroa has been fighting deportation from Canada for the past few years.
Jose Figueroa is going to have a lot to celebrate next week: his birthday, Christmas and his liberation.
The Langley man has been living in the Walnut Grove Lutheran Church for the past two years, after he took sanctuary when the Canadian government moved to deport him for his political activities in El Salvador nearly two decades ago.
Yesterday he learned he can stay in Canada, and plans to leave his sanctuary on Dec. 23, his birthday.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship John McCallum found "sufficient humanitarian and compassionate considerations" in his case to warrant an exception.Figueroa was going to be deported because of his involvement with the FMLN, a terrorist organization.
Lori Berenson was arrested some twenty years ago in Peru for her involvement with the Tupac Amaru terrorist group. She recently left Peru for her native New York after her parole ended.
In Ms. Berenson’s fiery declaration after her arrest in 1995, she defended the Túpac Amaru as “a revolutionary movement” and said: “If it is a crime to worry about the subhuman condition in which the majority of this population lives, then I will accept my punishment.”
Today, she reflects on that moment, saying: “I became a symbol of the period of political violence which is called terrorism here. The public wasn’t willing to see it in any other way.”
Yet she added: “I still believe that following your dreams is not a bad thing. I think you have to be aware of the consequences, and I was aware of the consequences.She had previously been involved in Central America, particularly El Salvador, before leaving for Peru after the Salvadoran conflict ended. From what I understand, recruiters from South America traveled to El Salvador at the end of the war to convince foreigners to travel to and help out in their countries since the conflict in El Salvador had just ended.