The Buzas family, a Roma family of five that fled from Hungary because of anti-Roma discrimination, was granted reprieve and stay on humanitarian grounds on Wednesday, a day before their deportation date.
The CBC reported that Immigration Lawyer Éric Taillefer got a phone call explaining that a judge had given his clients a stay of deportation. “I’d never seen so many people so happy at the same time. They were crying [tears] of joy. They were very, very happy,” Taillefer told the CBC.
The stay on humanitarian grounds is only a temporary reprieve, however, it enables the Buzas family to continue their fight to stay in Canada. They are still waiting for Immigration Canada to respond to their permanent residence application on humanitarian grounds.
Last year, the Buzas family’s refugee claim was rejected because Hungary is designated as a “safe” country for refugees under Ottawa’s refugee reforms last year. A list designates which countries are “safe” for refugges and is aimed at preventing illegitimate refugees from taking advantage of the system.
Hungary’s designation as “safe” country is problematic to some people because of reports of ongoing violence and discrimination against Roma people.
The Montreal Gazette reported that the number of asylum claims has dropped dramatically. It noted, last year, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board received just 104 claims from Hungary between January and June, while in 2012 there were 1,389.
The CBC reported that Taillefer said if the family’s permanent residence application is accepted, the family could stay in Canada. If it is not accepted, then he will proceed with their case and added that court proceedings could last months.
Miriam Katawazi is a fourth-year journalism and human rights student at Carleton University and rabble’s news intern. She has a strong passion for human rights and social justice in Canada and across the world. Her writing focuses on health, labour, education and human rights beats.