Roma family loses deportation fight, must leave country on Aug. 11
Published Thursday, July 28, 2016 1:54PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 28, 2016 7:04PM EDT
After months of fighting to stay in Canada, the Canadian Border Services Agency ruled on Thursday that a family of Hungarian Roma will be deported.
The Lakatos family has been in Canada for five years but according to the ruling, they will be forced to go back to Hungary on Aug. 11.
The family had left that country because they said they are discriminated against their Roma heritage. While the family’s father and brother were deported two months ago, the mother and daughter were granted temporary residence permits which expired last week.
“If I’m deported, it’s like I lost five years of my life,” said 17-year-old Gilda Lakatos, who spoke of the friends she’s made in Canada and wanting to finish her schooling.
Several activist groups came to show their support for the family outside the hearing.
Advocacy organization Romanipe Humanitarian Group has been working with the family as they fought against the deportation. Spokesperson Dafina Saviccalled on the immigration minister to reverse the decision.
“We’re asking the government to cancel the deportation and we’re still asking them to look at their humanitarian claim and grant them permanent residency under humanitarian grounds,” she said.
Officials from the federal immigration department declined to comment.Solidarity Across Borders spokesperson Hoda Asmar said the Roma face intense abuse as a people in Hungary and that once the family returns, they will find conditions have grown ever worse.
"They suffered from a lot of racism, from trauma as a family," she said. "One of the son's commited suicide by police because he was Roma... The Roma refugees who are deported suffer double discrimination because they're Roma but also because they tried to leave and they showed the racism of the Hungarian regime against them."