Press Conference, Tuesday at 10:30: Canada still deporting Roma refugees, Roma teen and mom facing deportation Thursday

Media Advisory

Canada still deporting Roma refugees: Roma teenager and her mom fight deportation scheduled for Thursday

Press Conference
Tuesday, 10 May at 10:30 am
1500 de Maisonneuve W., 204

17-year old Gilda Lakatos and her mother Katalin Lakatos are facing deportation on Thursday. The family left Hungary in 2011 because of the racism they experienced as Roma, which lead to the suicide of Katalin's oldest son and near fatal medical neglect of her younger son, and included sexual threats and insults to the two women.

The Lakatos family hoped to find a better life in Canada. Unfortunately, they arrived during the anti-refugee and specifically anti-Roma climate fomented by former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. A study* of over 10 000 Hungarian refugee claims published in April 2015 found that racist stereotypes about Roma people had become “enshrined” in Canada's refugee determination process. The Lakatos family's application was refused and they were ordered deported as refused refugees in October 2015. Because Hungary is on the so-called "safe country list", they will not be eligible for a pre-removal risk evaluation until 2018.

Determined not to return to Hungary, the family remained in Canada, joining the ranks of Canada's estimated 500,000 undocumented migrants, highly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. When Gilda's father and brother were detained on their way to work in February 2016, and then deported, the two women turned themselves in. They now face deportation on Thursday, despite the difficulties the two men have had since their return to Hungary.

The family applied for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds 8 months ago, but Canada is proceeding with the deportation before responding. Applications on humanitarian grounds are almost never accepted after deportation.


Contact: tel 438 933 7654

Solidarity Across Borders

* No refuge: Hungarian Romani Refugee Claimants in Canada, Osgoode Legal Studies Research Papers Series, 2015