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Juana Tejada Legacy

Juana Tejada Legacy
Juana Tejada by Angelo Lopez

by Angelo Lopez

For Filipinos in Canada, who celebrate Filipino Heritage Month in June, it’s crucial to highlight the “Juana Tejada legacy,” that dramatically altered Filipinos’ place in the canadian diaspora community. Juana Tejada is one of the leading Filipinos who has stressed the need of fighting for what is right. Tejada spoke up for a cause she believed in, fighting for the rights of migrant caregivers like herself. Canada’s government heeded Tejada’s pleas and passed a law in her name, dubbing it the “Tejada law,” with widespread public support. The Filipino community in Canada will always remember this legacy, as well as the sacrifices and triumphs of the individuals who banded together to face adversity and emerge victorious.

Juana Tejada was a Filipina who worked as a live-in carer in Canada for two years. Upon applying for permanent residency, Tejada’s medical examination revealed that she had colon cancer. The Canadian government denied her residency application on the grounds that she would be a health care burden.

Instead of giving up, Juana Tejada retained an attorney and contested the government’s decision. Tejada won her case due to humanitarian considerations. She persisted in urging the government to alter the two-step medical examination required for caregivers in similar circumstances. Juana’s efforts resulted in the passage of “Juana Tejada’s Law” in April 2010, which exempts live-in caregivers from the medical exam when they apply for permanent residency, given that they have already passed an exam for their initial work visa.

Juana Tejada passed away on March 8, 2009.