Don’t let this picture deceive you this is a young girl in crisis. On Saturday in an attempt to destress I took Rachel to the Buskerfest. This picture was actually taken in St James Park downtown as we had to escape the crowds for a bit.
What is stressing us out? Rachel is a Canadian child without ANY of the rights of being Canadian.
Rachel has lived with me here in Canada for exactly 12 years since she was 8 months old. She was born in New Mexico and I brought her home to my family and to my country. Back then things were easy. Remember the days long before 9/11, when you could cross over with ease? Well we arrived and since I am a Canadian born, Canadian citizen Rachel automatically gets citizenship.
Proving this citizenship has become our battle. You see by the time I got around to thinking she needed her citizenship card things were getting more difficult. I only had her birth certificate that lists me as her mother. I also was able to get her immunization records and her Social Security number from the US(but not her card as she would have to cross the border to get it).Something that is impossible to do without proper ID. She right now is a little girl without a citizenship card.
Rachel literally became a Canadian without any of the rights because she does not have the card.
- she has NO health coverage which means this child who has Asperger’s syndrome is not getting proper medical care. It means if and when she gets sick a doctors visit costs me $60 a shot at the local walk in clinic.
- this means this mother who unfortunately had to apply for welfare this week, well Rachel does NOT qualify for benefits so not only is the child support I receive for her taken off my check but they give me NO money for her, meaning all I currently get for Rachel from any source right now as of today is $287 (child tax credit).
- this means as of the end of September if things do not change I can not afford to parent my child.
Should any Canadian child be forced into this situation? Should any parent?
For the last few days I have been attempting to reapply for her citizenship card..what a nightmare that is and costly too. Went down to the office on St Clair Ave today to be told all documents must now be certified and submitted by mail. You can no longer hand things in in person, and then if you want to ask questions about your case there is a 1-800 number but when you call if they are busy you can not even wait in a que, you are told to call back. I was lucky though I found the cheapest notary in town Jeff Brown . If you need documents notarized or an oath I do recommend him. I have everything I do have now certified and got new citizenship pictures taken of Rachel..Yes today I had to spend about $100 to get things together for just a possibility but then comes the clincher, the wait time to receive a card, well lets not go there..she would get her card in another 7 to 10 months in the meantime, she is a child living in Ontario without the rights she should have.
Come the end of September if I can not find a resolution for her on my own I may have to make the difficult choice of giving up custody of her until this nightmare ends. She has not been out of my custody or care since her birth not even for a visit to her father. It has been me and her on our own since day 1. Even thinking of it sends my heart and head to places I do not even want to go.
Can you help?
- do u know a writer, or newshound who might think a Canadian without rights in their own land is a good story? I want to gas light people who might actually be able to help us get what Rachel needs.
- do you know a politician in the provincial or federal government. I need one championing things for her.
- do you know someone hiring? this problem becomes back burner if I am working and can provide for her on my own.
- do you know a good citizenship / Ontario Works lawyer who likes a challenge and might be willing to help?
if yes to any of those you can have them contact me directly. I am asking for your help to get Rachel what she deserves, her rights as a Canadian child and that one little piece of ID that makes it all better. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.