Canadian Govt Plans to Deport Maeng Family Due to Autism Costs – Take Action!

The Maengs are a South Korean family who have been living for the past eight and a half years in Moncton, New Brunswick. As CBC News reports, Tae-Shik Maeng and Hee-Eun Jang moved to Canada in search of better treatment for their son, Sung-Joo Maeng. Now 15 years old, Sung-Joo was diagnosed with autism and epilepsy at the age of 5.

But last week the Department of Citizenship and Immigration told them they must leave by the end of the month, because Sung-Joo’s care is “too expensive.”

The Maengs also have a 19-year-old son, Jung-Joo Maeng, who is studying science at Dalhousie University in Halifax. They have owned and operated Moncton’s Main Stop Oriental Market on West Main Street in Moncton since 2003. A regular customer, Mary Sullivan, was so outraged to hear about the family’s situation that, along with Scott Agnew, she started a Facebook page, Help the Maeng Family Stay in Canada. Says Agnew:

“These are the people we’re trying to attract. These are the people we need. Our population in New Brunswick is dwindling — we need to attract more immigrants the government knows that.”

“They’re putting money into attracting them. They did attract them and now the federal government is asking them to leave. It’s just ridiculous.”

Erin Leis, a family support worker with Access Home Care who has worked with Sung-Joo for the past two and a half years, has written a plea on behalf of the Maengs in the Daily Gleaner:

They are extremely hardworking, honest and loving people. They have been honest with the government in regards to Sung Joo’s disability the entire time they have lived in Canada (eight and a half years), during which they have tried to gain permanent residency. They have accepted with appreciation every condition and step the government has asked of them.

I don’t believe this action taken to remove them from Canada because of Sung Joo’s condition is appropriate. I don’t believe the family has been treated with fairness and respect by the government by telling them to leave in less than a month after living here so long and buying a business in Moncton.

I am writing to you on behalf of the family, asking you to support a motion in the legislature that demands a federal ministerial order of exception.

Reis underscores how the threat of deportation, not to mention the upheaval involved in moving back to South Korea, would seriously, and adversely, affect Sung-Joo. Indeed, such a move could potentially erase all the progress he has made:

A move like the government is suggesting would significantly set Sung Joo back in his development. Change is so difficult for children with autism, and to have almost every factor in his life change at the same time would most likely be extremely difficult for him.

As Sung Joo is non-verbal, he communicates in behaviours. This past week he has been engaging in self-injuring behaviours – in hitting himself on the arms and face as he tries to cope with the sense that something is not right within his family.

You can only imagine the distress he will feel if his family must leave everything that is familiar to Sung Joo here in Canada.

Take Action: Please support the Maengs and sign the petition to urge the Canadian government to grant a federal ministerial order of exception so they can stay in Canada; so Sung-Joo can continue to learn and grow.


Photo of the Maengs from the Facebook page, Help the Maeng Family Stay in Canada.


William C
William C13 days ago

Thanks for caring.

W. C
W. C15 days ago

Thank you for the information.

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

I agree that this child should have an ipad but I think the Department of Immigration should pay for it out of their budget.

Gina P.
Regina P6 years ago

I signed it. If this child doesn't have an iPad, let's get him one through Care2. It's made a huge difference for my autistic nephew!

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

Thanks Brian P. you saved me a lot of typing. Despite that this site is called "Care2", there are a lot of people who DON'T care and can't wait to expose themselves for the self-righteous bigots that they are.

I have to admit though, I sometimes can't resist making off-the-cuff comments to the ignorant comments made here by these people....

Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago

petition signed.

Eug F.
Eug F.6 years ago

Something about this story just isnt right. I can't imagine anyone in government citing costs of treating a health issue as cause to leave the country (well except an asshole like PM Harper) but the majority of Canadians wont stand for it.

Brian P.
.6 years ago

@Michael D. - you're a real prize humanitarian aren't you! Your statement is so flawed I don't know where to begin...this family came here legally (with full disclosure) and have invested their money and energy into building a business that pays taxes and supports themselves and provides a service in their community...what have you done lately to improve the lives of others?

@Gene W. - you obviously don't care about people unless they are exploitative white, male aspiring fascists like you so why are you even on this site? Please go away you Dick Cheney wannabe.

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago

Petition signed.

Myriam G.
Myriam G6 years ago

I just saw on the news that the order of deportation of the Maeng family was a "mistake" by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and that they are planning to repel it. I guess the public opinion helped a lot in the realisation of the "mistake".
Thank you to all the good people of New Brunswick that raised the awareness on this case. They're even planning a support rally for the Maeng family!