During a town hall at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg on January 31, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced a number of tough questions from the crowd of 1,800 people. One of those queries came from Tara Sheppard, whose friend, a lesbian, is facing deportation to Nigeria. Sheppard maintains that the woman, whose identity is being protected, will be in grave danger if she is returned to the African nation.
After coming to Manitoba in 2016 for a work conference, the woman discovered that she had been outed back in Nigeria, where homosexuality is illegal, and that a warrant had been issued for her arrest.
She attempted to apply for asylum in Canada, but the adjudicator assigned to her case did not believe she was credible. In an interview with CityNews Winnipeg, Sheppard alleges that, when speaking with the Nigerian woman, “the adjudicator did not follow the ethics and mission statement of the Immigration and Refugee Board, did not follow the new LGBTQ guidelines and did not believe that she was a lesbian,” asking for graphic details about her sexual history and practices.
At the town hall meeting, Prime Minister Trudeau said that Canada has “an immigration system that is both based on rules and fairness and a rigorous approach, while at the same time leaving space for compassion.” He promised Sheppard that he’d “make sure our immigration minister takes a look at that specific case.”
University of Winnipeg student Tyler Andrade has put out an online petition to help the woman remain in Canada. She is scheduled to be deported in four days from now, on February 26.
Sign the petition on Change.org : HERE.