Nigerian family in Montreal faces deportation next week, pleads to stay

Deborah Adegboye calling an impending deportation a “death sentence.” Adegboye and her family came to Montreal from Nigeria in 2017, and are pleading with the Canadian government to put a stop to their deportation. Swidda Rassy reports.

By CityNews Staff

A Montreal family from Nigeria is pleading with the federal government to put a stop to their deportation scheduled for April 5th claiming that their lives will be in danger if they go back.

Deborah Adegboye and her family first entered Canada via the unofficial border crossing, Roxham Road, in 2017. The family came to Canada to seek asylum as they were fleeing religious persecution in their home country.

“My husband’s life was at risk. There was a life-threatening, that is why we found a way of escape,” said Adegboye.

Adegboye says her family has been receiving death threats after her husband converted to Christianity.

“They have the assurance that yes, we are coming back to Nigeria, so this is an opportunity for them to just get us…It’s just like a death sentence.”

The couple began working within the public health system as personal support workers.

“I fall in love with the job I’m doing. I have passion for that. I’m not doing this just because of money. I’m doing it because I have feelings. I want to help. I want to be in assistance of people in need,” she said.

Adegboye says she’s been doing everything she can to integrate into society, and with her two youngest children being born here, Canada is all they know.

On Friday, community members came together, protesting Adegboye’s deportation in front of Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller’s Montreal office. 

“A family like hers normally will get a status depositing what we call a permanent residency request on humanitarian grounds. A family that is so active, integrated, useful to society, normally they are accepted in this legal procedure, and it was a terrible surprise, terrible news when she was rejected,” Maryse Poisson, director of social initiatives at the Welcome Collective.

A statement from Minister Miller’s office reads in part, “Due to privacy legislation, we cannot comment on individual cases. A decision to remove someone from Canada is not taken lightly. Every individual facing removal is entitled to due process, but once all avenues to appeal are exhausted, they are removed from Canada in accordance with Canadian law.”

Adegboye is hoping Canada has a change of heart so she can continue to take care of her patients and build a better life for her children. 

“Canada is a place of hope. Canada is a place where you can say that yes your future is very, very sure and the future of your child.”

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