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Irish transgender woman pleads for refugee status in Canada

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An Irish transgender woman is seeking refugee status in Canada as she fears she will be deported if she is sent back to her home town of Belfast.

Tanya Bloomfield’s temporary residence permit expired last August and she could now face deportation if officials deny her refugee status. The transgender woman believes that her safety will be at risk if she returns to her hometown just outside Belfast.

She said “There is well-documented evidence of homophobic attacks and I grew up there and it's just not a country I want to return to given that I'm transgendered because I'd be at risk.

"I'm feeling really low. I think that's really where I'm at. My friends tell me this is just a bump ... so I have to keep pushing on."

Her lawyer, Lee Cohen says that she will be deported immediately if the courts refuse her application for refugee status.

Bloomfield, the owner of a computer company in Chester, Nova Scotia had a temporary residence permit until last August when it expired. Her applications for temporary work and residency permits have been denied over the last year.

Having lived in Nova Scotia since 2006, where she has family and friends, she has integrated fully into the Canadian culture. Over the last four years she has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for as the sponsorship director for Halifax Pride. She also raised $3,000 last year when she rain a marathon in aid of a group serving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

"I just have to hope that at some point Canada immigration can see that I do nothing but contribute to Canadian society, Canadian culture, to the economy, to the employment market,” said Bloomfield.

It is her hope that she can apply for permanent residency once she is granted refugee status.
 

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