- A Ghanaian man, Razak Iyal, who lost most of his fingers to frostbite while crossing the US-Canadian border has been granted refugee status
- His comes about a month after his fellow Ghanaian, Seidu Mohamed, received his refugee status
A Ghanaian man who chose to cross the US-Canadian border on foot rather than face the prospects of having to come back to Ghana has finally been granted refugee status by Canadian authorities.
Months after the Razak Iyal, accompanied by fellow Ghanaian, Seidu Mohammed, decided to brave sub-zero temperatures in order to escape potential deportation from the United States he has been granted refugee status in Canada.
The two made the Canadian crossing after meeting up at a bus station in Minneapolis. They rode a bus to Grand Forks, North Dakota, and subsequently took a taxi to a point near the US-Canadian border.
Iyal said: "I can do a lot of things that people who have fingers can do."
Mr. Razak Iyal's successful refugee status award comes about a month after that of his fellow Ghanaian and border crossing companion, Seidu Mohammed.
Both men suffered extensive frostbite injuries due to the perilous crossing. Iyal lost all but two of his fingers, both thumbs, while Mohammed lost all his fingers including his thumbs. Although both men say they do not regret their decision to make the crossing.
In the mid December chill, the two faced temperatures as low as below 30 degrees Celsius, having to trek through snowed over terrain for hours on end before they met a trucker on the Canadian side of the border.
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"I thank God that I've been accepted to stay in Canada, to be a Canadian. And what I have in me, I'll make sure I share it with the community, with the people," said Iyal after he received the verdict of his asylum application after a closed door refugee board meeting.
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