Yesterday, I had my hearing with the Immigration and Refugee Board

Sign outside the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Yesterday, I had my hearing with the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. I did record the meeting with GarageBand and will be transcribing the audio of my hearing shortly. However, today’s post is about the immediate aftermath.

So, when will I get my decision?

A man in a space suit waiting at a bus stop, holding a sign that reads "Earth?"

The simple answer is “I don’t know”. The member didn’t make a decision yesterday, saying she needed more time to review the evidence. The soonest I could possibly receive a decision is within two weeks. This assumes that she makes the decision today, which is unlikely.

If the decision is positive, of course I want it quickly. The sooner I get my decision, the sooner I can apply for permanent resident status. But if the decision is negative, I could wait for that decision. For the past fifteen months, I’ve been working on this case and worrying about it. However, in this moment, right now – there’s nothing that needs to be done. The die has been cast.

How do I think it went?

A female lawyer in the middle of the picture, looking at two people on the right and left respectively.

Again, the answer I have for this is “I don’t know”. I feel like I made the best possible case for my claim. I have no regrets about how it went. And, of course, I didn’t feel like closing arguments were necessary.

The member is reviewing the evidence and I hope that is a good sign. At least it’s not an outright refusal. I am hoping that is a good sign. I know that cases for claimants from the United States are trickier. However, I feel that the depth and breadth of evidence I provided helps. I feel that I adequately addressed the two core issues which were State Protection and Internal Flight Alternative.

The cities that the member considered as viable Internal Flight Alternatives

The member suggested the following cities/metropolitan areas as possible Internal Flight Alternatives:

  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Seattle, Washington
  • New York, New York

The arguments I made to combat the Internal Flight Alternatives

The arguments I made to combat the presumption of the viability of internal flight alternatives are as follows:

The increasingly vile transphobic rhetoric from the right-wing

The right-wing routinely portrays transgender people as “child predators” and “mentally ill”. They assert that our fight for human rights is a “culture war” issue. Any advances for our human rights are seen as a violation of “religious liberty”.

The Full Faith and Credit Clause

The Full Faith and Credit Clause (which I erroneously referred to as an “Act” in my hearing) is the law that enables the mobility of judgments and documents. Article IV, section 1 of the U.S. constitution reads:

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

My life is at risk in every state because of the ill-gotten judgment my landlord got against me. Every state has a Constitutional obligation to honour the judgments of other states, even if the states don’t share the same laws.

The composition of the Supreme Court

Thanks to former President Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court, laws to protect the rights of LGBTQ individuals are at risk nationwide. Unfortunately, the lion’s share of Trump’s appointees have been extremely hostile to human rights for transgender people. This severely impacts the viability of any internal flight alternative.

So, what now?

A woman in a flannel shirt facing away from the camera looking towards a mountain ridge, wearing a hat, holding a Canadian flag behind her.

Honestly, I don’t know. Not just because I don’t know the outcome.

In addition, it is because I need to rethink a few things. I need to reposition myself to begin gainful employment once the pandemic abates. I am also considering suing my abuser for what he did to me once my status here is situated. Moreover, I am considering moving to Québec so that I can attend University. I am evaluating my options.

But, just for now, I am waiting. The die has been cast.

A collection of dice used for Dungeons and Dragons.