Last December, returning from the Dufferin Mall, Nora Trueba saw immigration officials on her front porch, arresting her husband, Israel Ochoa.
“Oh my god, I was in shock,” Trueba recalled. She watched as officials pinned Ochoa’s hands behind him and led him away. Her youngest son, Kayden, four, called out, “Amor, Amor,” Spanish for “love” and the children’s nickname for their father.
Their eyes meeting, Ochoa signaled silently to Trueba to keep quiet and Trueba desperately began singing a Christmas carol to distract her little boy, terrified the officers would arrest them all.
In the U.S., Republican candidate Donald Trump’s promise to forcibly remove 11-million illegal workers and build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border has put the fate of migrant workers like Trueba and Ochoa at the forefront of the election campaign. But we hear far less about undocumented workers in Canada. In reality, Mexican people are a growing part of Toronto’s workforce, in bakeries, restaurants,and cleaning jobs. Every year, thousands are deported.
For Trueba and Ochoa, that December evening was the beginning of the end of 11 years in hiding.
They had come to Toronto in the spring of 2005, newlyweds on a honeymoon from San Salvador Atenco, near Mexico City. Back home, there were violent mass protests over the government’s bid to expropriate land from impoverished peasant farmers to build an airport — tensions that exploded a year later in hundreds of arrests and allegations of human rights abuses by state police.
More information: CBC News