The Hong Kong High Court where the case is being heard. Photo: Wikipedia
The Hong Kong High Court where the case is being heard. Photo: Wikipedia

The High Court rejected a judicial review on Wednesday filed by a former Filipina maid who wanted to challenge an Immigration Department order to deport her.

Lilibeth Betalac Belandres and her eight-year-old son filed a judicial review in 2014 against the department’s order for the mother to leave Hong Kong, Oriental Daily reported.

The court heard that Belandres worked in Hong Kong as a domestic worker since 1993 but her employment contract was terminated in 2009 because she was pregnant.

Her son was born in September 2009 but she broke up with her local boyfriend later that year.

The family court ruled that Belandres should have custody of her son, but the ruling was later revised after the father’s request that their son had to stay in Hong Kong.

Throughout the years Belandres has relied on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) payments for her son and alimony from her former boyfriend.

But in 2013 the Immigration Department rejected Belandres’ request to stay in the city to take care of her son until he turns 18 and later issued an order for her to be deported. A year later, the mother and son sought a review to challenge the department’s decision, Sing Pao reported.

High Court Judge Thomas Au said that there were similar judicial review applications in the past and legal principle had been established.

Au said the applicants’ arguments, including that the department’s decision contravened the rights of family unity and that the department had not exercised discretion were not valid.

Au noted that the ruling by the family court said if Belandres leaves Hong Kong, her ex-boyfriend had told the court he would take care of the boy.

Au argued that the Immigration Department’s decision was not unreasonable.

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