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Orozco deportation set for June 2

Community plans emergency rally

Alvaro Orozco’s deportation date has been set for June 2.

Orozco, the undocumented gay artist whose refugee claim was denied on the basis of his inability to prove his homosexuality, was picked up on May 13 by Toronto Police Services and has been in immigration detention ever since. He has had a removal order pending since 2007.

According to the Let Alvaro Stay Facebook group, Orozco has requested a deferral of his deportation.

“If necessary, his lawyer will be going to the Federal Court of Appeal to argue for a stay on his deportation until his humanitarian and compassionate application is decided,” the group says. “Alvaro was notified in October to expect a response by April/May 2011. We are confident that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will do the right thing and grant Alvaro his [humanitarian and compassionate grounds hearing].”

Suhail Abualsameed is a queer immigration activist who works with Supporting Our Youth, a program at the Sherbourne Health Centre. He describes learning that Alvaro’s deportation date was set for June 2 as “a little bit of a relief.”

“It wasn’t within a day or two as some of us had feared,” he explains. “There’s a specific timeline for us to act.”

More than 100 people have identified themselves as “attending” an emergency rally in support of Orozco this Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at 11am. The rally will be held at the 519 Church Street Community Centre in recognition of Alvaro’s contribution to the queer community.