Inspiring Pinay OFW

All Juana Tejada wanted to do was live in Canada and bring her family there to live with her, but along her immigrant’s journey, Tejada became a lightning rod for immigrants’ rights.

In 2006, Tejada was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was almost deported, after her illness violated the terms of the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) she served under. The LCP offers permanent residence after two years of service, provided the caregiver passes a medical screening. Her case outraged fellow caregivers and immigrants’ rights activists, who protested until the Canadian government allowed Tejada to stay in the country.

Juana Tejada’s friends along with Filipinos across Canada said she leaves a legacy as the strong Filipino overseas worker who fought to amend the live-in caregiver program despite her failing health. And they say her fight will go on.

“I think it’s really important to know what Juana started,” said Marco Luciano, who came to pay his respects to Tejada. “We owe it to her to continue her struggle.”

Rafael Fabregas, another Filipino who paid his respects, said Tejada’s life has inspired him. “I am commited on this crusade until genuine reform is achieved. No live-in caregiver should go through what Juana Tejada went through.”

Now, the government is considering an amendment to strip the medical screening requirement from the LCP. It’s known as “Juana Tejada’s Law.”

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