REGINA – The two Nigerian girls who were given deportation orders for illegally working while living in Canada on student visas, have been granted permission to return by the federal government.
Favour Amadi and Victoria Ordu arrived at Regina International Airport on Saturday evening.
“I just thank God, I thank everyone who has fought this battle for me,” said Ordu.
They were greeted warmly by dozens of supporters.
“My heart broke when they left,” said Vianne Timmons, president of the university. “I’m really just looking forward and thinking about all the stuff we have to do to to make sure that these two young women convocate in a couple of years.”
The girls were third year students at the U of R. In June 2012, they took jobs at Walmart without proper work visas. Both girls claimed they were unaware the work was a violation of their study permits.
“They are so grateful to everyone that helped to make this day happen. And they’re extremely happy, extremely happy. School starts July 2nd for them, and so, they’re going to go back and continue their studies,” said Kay Adebogun, who works as the girls’ immigration counselor.
For over a year after they were ordered to leave the country. Amadi and Ordu hid in various Regina churches, and eventually decided to move back to Nigeria last October.
“It shouldn’t have gone to the extreme that it went,” said Ralph Goodale, Liberal MP for Wascana, who brought the girls’ case to the House of Commons. He added, “I think we need to review these facts, review the rules, the operational procedures, the behavior of all of the parties involved to learn from this experience, and hopefully find a way to prevent it from happening in the future.”