So, Canadian lawyers are taking their government to court over what they called unfair ruling on Nigerian asylum seekers.

Nigerian asylum seekers have streamed across the border from the United States in large numbers over the past 18 months.

The legal challenge from the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers was prompted by the decision to designate as precedent-setting, a May ruling by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) rejecting the asylum claim of a Nigerian woman who fled her homeland to escape the practice of female genital mutilation.

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A tribunal in the IRB’s appeals division ruled that the woman failed to qualify for asylum because she could have sought refuge in the large Nigerian cities of Ibadan or Port Harcourt, away from her rural family home.

Last month, in the wake of the appeal division ruling, the IRB said the woman’s case should be used as a “jurisprudential guide” or legal precedent in considering all future Nigerian asylum cases.

The IRB has made similar decisions in cases involving migrants from China, India and Pakistan.

The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers said Nigerians would now likely face a higher bar to gain asylum status than they did in the past.

“It’s very problematic,” Lorne Waldman, an attorney with the association told Reuters. “It enhances the evidentiary burden on claimants from Nigeria in a way that I say is unfair.”

Canada is struggling to cope with a wave of asylum seekers, with more than 30,000 having illegally walked across the Canada-U.S. border since January 2017, according to government figures.

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