The Canadian government and immigration officials don’t seem to be seeing eye-to-eye. The government stepped in last February to stop Alvaro Orozco’s deportation to his native Nicaragua. Orozco originally left his homeland eleven years ago, when he was twelve, because his father objected to his homosexuality. This discrimination should come as no surprise considering Nicaragua’s largely Catholic demographic and a 1992 law recommending four years in prison for pufftas.
After leaving home Orozco hitchhiked to America, where he lived for five years before high-tailing it to Canada. Upon arriving, Orozco applied for asylum, a request immigration officials rejected last February, when Deborah Lamont said Orozco failed to prove his faggotry. Why? Because he wasn’t sexually active during his teenage years. She must have been a slag at twelve.
The government interceded, though, saving Orozco’s hiney. Unfortunately, his stay of deportation has expired and immigration officials ruled yesterday that he’s got to head home.
Speaking after the ruling, Orozco’s lawyer, El-Farouk Khaki, told reporters that aside from Nicaragua’s homophobic culture, the international press has put young Orozco’s life in greater danger:
I think this is very significant in terms of his risk of return. There were tangible and very real risks before the Nicaraguan press picked up his story. Those risks were exacerbated because his name and his orientation were broadcast nationally.
Khaki also wonders whether officials gave Orozco a fair chance:
I found the whole process in the last week somewhat objectionable. It seemed to me that they had already made a decision that no matter what we did, they were going to remove him.
Orozco attempted to stall Lamont’s February decision three times, but ran out of options with yesterday’s ruling. What’s most fucked about this situation, we think, is that immigration officials acknowledge the danger of Orozco’s return, particularly because of the press coverage. Not only that, they acknowledged Orozco’s gay activism. Apparently he’s still not gay enough, though and could be sent home at any time.
Though he didn’t appear at yesterday’s ruling, Orozco did release a statement:
I’m concerned about the risk I face if they send me back to Nicaragua, where I can face persecution by the government and the Catholic community, who judge gay life as sodomy. I feel fear for my life in Nicaragua.
Orozco does, however, have one last hope: Immigration Minister Diane Finley, who can reverse the earlier rulings. She has not, however, indicated where she stands on the matter.
Until then, Orozco’s waiting in limbo. We say set up shop in America. Our government won’t reach any immigration decisions for a while. Make it over the border and you’re good to go.