Day of Decision for Roma Women Fighting Deportation to Hungary: Lakatos Family called in to CBSA
Thursday, 28 July 2016
Outside Immigration Canada offices, 1010 St-Antoine, Montreal
- Support Rally from 10:30
- Press Point with family after CBSA meeting
Gilda and Katalin Lakatos, two Hungarian Roma women who have been fighting their deportation since their refugee claim was refused more than a year ago, have been summoned to a meeting with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) on Thursday. The family expects to receive a long-awaited decision on their application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds.
Gilda, 17 years old, and her mother Katalin's deportation was suspended on May 11th when the Minister of Immigration recognized that they were in "exceptional circumstances" and granted them a rare Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) until 16 July. The family and supporters believed that the short reprieve was granted to allow the government time to study their humanitarian file – but no decision arrived before the permit expired. The family applied for a renewal of their TRP and can legally – but in complete precarity and uncertainty – remain in Canada until they receive a response on their application for renewal (of the temporrary permit).
Chronology of the Lakatos' Struggle for a Safe Home
20 October 2004 – Suicide of Katalin's oldest son following racist incident with Hungarian police
2005 – Katalin launches complaint against Hungarian police for driving her son to suicide; intense police harassment begins
February 2011 – Near death of second son (Gilda's older brother) following racially-motivated medical neglect
14 June 2011 – Family arrives in Canada, applies for asylum
April 2015 – Refugee demand refused
22 September 2015 – Application on humanitarian grounds filed
30 October 2015 – Family ordered deported. They remain in Canada.
3 March 2016 – Father and son, now undocumented, arrrested when police stop the car they are travelling in in a routine check. They are detained at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre.
8 March – Katalin and Gilda, 16-years old at the time, voluntarily turn themselves in to CBSA. They are detained at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre.
11 March – Deportation of father and son.
17 March – Katalin and Gilda are released from detention by the Immigration and Refugee Board.
11 May – On eve of new deportation date (12 May 2016), the federal Minister of Immigration recognizes "exceptional circumstances" and grants a Temporary Resident Permit – but only for two months.
14 July – Katalin and Gilda apply to renew TRP; lawyer confirms that they can legally remain in Canada until they obtain response on renewal application.
16 July – Current TRP expires.
28 July – Meeting with CBSA.
Background on Roma in Hungary: www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/anti-roma-discrimination-in-hungary
Media Coverage: www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/media-coverage-lakatos