Earning a university degree is no easy feat, but Victoria Ordu is especially proud to convocate this spring, after her studies became the subject of national news. She spent time in hiding and was eventually deported during the time she was planning to work on her degree.
“By this time two years ago, I didn’t think I was going to be done with school or my major graduating. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, my life is over,'” she said in an interview with CBC. “But here I am, I’m still breathing.”
The international student first arrived at University of Regina from Nigeria in 2009. In 2011, she and another Nigerian student, Favour Amadi, worked a couple of weeks at a Wal-Mart store off-campus before learning their student visas didn’t allow it.
Seeking sanctuary in Saskatchewan
That’s when Canadian Border Services got involved— and so did officials, including the Canadian and Saskatchewan governments and the University president, among others. Facing deportation, and communicating through an immigration consultant working on their behalf, the women hid in churches around Regina for more than 450 days while officials outside argued about their situation.