May 10, 2018 7:04 pm
Updated: May 10, 2018 8:15 pm

‘It’s a tragic case’: NDP calls on immigration minister to grant dying wish to terminally ill refugee claimant

Taha El Taha, a terminally ill refugee claimant, has spent the last four months in and out of hospital, alone with no support system.

Global News
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The NDP is calling on the federal immigration minister to intervene and grant a terminally ill refugee claimant permission to see his family that is living in Lebanon.

“It’s a tragic case, a heartbreaking case,” said Jenny Kwan, the NDP’s immigration critic.

“You have an individual whose been diagnosed with terminal cancer, he is scheduled to go for surgery, he may never come back out and he has one wish and that wish is to see his family one more time.”

Global News first reported on Taha El Taha’s story last week.

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READ MORE: Calls for immigration minister to reconsider request from terminally ill refugee claimant

His case has since grabbed the attention of a high-profile human rights lawyer and now the federal opposition party – both are asking the federal immigration minister to intervene and grant a temporary resident permit (TRP) to El Taha’s wife and two young children.

The Stateless Palestinian crossed into Canada at Roxham Road last December and within days of his mandatory medical exam for his refugee claim – he was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 colorectal cancer.

The cancer has spread to his thorax and despite undergoing six rounds of chemotherapy, he now needs surgery.

For El Taha, going back to Lebanon is not an option.

READ MORE: Terminally ill refugee claimant from Lebanon desperate to bring family to Canada

The NDP calls it a question of compassion.

“We are known on the global stage to be a country of compassion and I hope the minister will act accordingly,” Kwan said.

“When you have a man who is dying and his one last wish is to see his family one more time, I hope that Canada can step up and grant that.”

The 36-year-old is currently awaiting his surgical intervention at the MUHC. His doctors have written letters of support explaining that their patient would benefit from having his family by his side.

“I hope that the NDP will be successful in convincing the minister of Immigration to issue a TRP for my family,” El Taha said.

“The coming days will be very tough.”

El Taha’s immigration consultant, who took on the case pro bono, is hopeful the minister will consider the case based on humanitarian grounds.

“Taha and I are very grateful that the NDP has decided to intervene in this case and join us in calling on the minister of immigration to help bring Taha’s family to Canada,” Rami Alsaqqa told Global News.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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