Yesterday, two young Nigerian women who lived in hiding for more than a year were deported from Canada. From CBC:
Victoria Ordu and Favour Amadi, who were under a deportation order, took refuge in four different city churches after learning they would be forced to leave the country. The University of Regina students have been in hiding for more than a year, getting by with the help of friends. “I’ve spent three years of my life studying here, and to go back without anything to show for it, is painful, sad,” said Ordu. Amadi was feeling the same way. “And to go back home without a single degree…is actually shameful and disappointing for both us and our parents,” she said.
Prairie Dog recently, and kinda belatedly, covered the story here.
These two students were ordered deported for, they say unknowingly, violating their visas and taking part-time jobs at Walmart in late 2011. (To the best of my knowledge, Walmart has not commented on nor been punished for hiring illegal workers.) After going into hiding, Victoria and Favour got support from, well, basically everyone — the Saskatchewan government and Opposition, the University of Regina*, activists, journalists, even regular people with a sense of basic compassion. All that needed to happen to keep them in the country was for the federal ministers of immigration, first Jason Kenney and then Chris Alexander, to intervene.
Unfortunately, the federal Conservatives are a dictatorial, stubborn and nasty pack of shitty human garbage, so that didn’t happen.
Victoria and Favour learned a lot more about this country in the last couple of years than most Canadians learn in a lifetime. They learned that regular, everyday Canadians are good, kind people who want to help. But they also learned that our current government — which a lot of those good, kind people unfortunately voted for — is an intolerant, xenophobic, constipated disaster.
Their inaction in this case was absolutely cruel and stupid. They are a disgrace to their office, and to Canada.
As a more drunken version of me said last night on our Twitter feed: Fuck you, Harper government.
*U of R president Vianne Timmons went to the airport personally to see them off. I salute that gesture.
**I’m hoping Minister Alexander has a secret, face-saving plan to re-admit the two to Canada, so the shitty Harper government can be seen to be both compassionate and law-enforcing. But I’m not holding my breath.