An ecstatic Zhang, 41, and daughter Sherry, 4, were given a letter saying they were accepted as immigrants in a landmark case in which she claimed to face huge fines and stigmatization if deported to China, where it illegal to have children out of wedlock.
“I am so excited by the good news,” Zhang said after a hearing at a Watline Ave. immigration office, in Mississauga. “It has been a long and difficult time for Sherry and me.”
The decision will open the door for other women in the same situation, who can’t return to China or other countries, her counsel and immigration officials said.
Zhang, a labourer, plans to take out citizenship in two years and obtain documents to take Sherry to China to visit her grandparents.
“I want to give my daughter a good future in Canada,” she said. “I plan on going to school to take courses to updgrade myself.”
Zhang came to Canada in 1997 and filed an unsuccessful refugee claim. During that time she gave birth to Sherry. Her consultant Roy Kellogg said other women will seek refuge in Canada after hearing of Zhang’s plight.
“Its totally illegal and wrong to send a Canadian child to China,” Kellogg said yesterday. “We have 11 similar cases being processed at this time.”
He said deported single mothers face a fine of about $140,000 a child when they return to China with children. They do not receive health coverage or allowed to attend school or obtain Chinese citizenship.
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