22 July 2009

Mexican lesbian lovers seek refugee status after Canadian visa change

Lesbian lovers Norma Angelica Gomez, 33, and Alina Gallegos Lee, 34, have claimed refugee status in an attempt to avoid being deported back to Mexico from Toronto, Canada, after the recent Canadian visa changes.

The couple claim that they are constantly harassed by Mexican police for being in a same-sex relationship, and fled to Canada last year.

The Canadian Government changed the Canadian visa regulations for Mexican and Czech nationals last Monday due to the dramatic increase in refugees entering Canada from those countries.

Now, Gomez and Lee are seeking asylum.

"Canada is a good country and we feel free," Lee said. "At home we were constantly persecuted for being lesbians."

Lee and Gomez have expressed their desire to stay in Toronto and get married.

Their lawyer, George Kubes, will send the couple to the Canadian Center for Victims of Torture for an assessment because they were allegedly harassed, followed and beaten by Mexican police. Unfortunately, their story is not unique.

According to Amnesty International reports, gays and lesbians are routinely and violently harassed by police and soldiers in Mexico.

The couple will have to wait until a decision is made by Canadian authorities, but their prospects are not bright.

Last year, there were more than 9,400 refugee claims filed by Mexicans in Canada, and only 11 percent were accepted.


The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with Canadian visas and immigration.

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