Category Archives: Gypsy/Roma community

Hungary is top country of origin for refugee claimants paid to leave Canada

November 5, 2014 10:01 am

Canada pays thousands of Roma to abandon refugee appeals, leave country

By  Global News

Dominik Tomko signed along the dotted line. His flight was booked, his bags packed: He’d agreed to accept $8,000 plus plane tickets in exchange for abandoning his refugee claim, and leaving the country with his wife and two sons.

Then, 17 days before his Aug. 28 takeoff date, he changed his mind. His brother Miroslav’s claim, virtually identical to Tomko’s own, had been approved.

“I didn’t know my brother was going to be accepted. So I was already prepared to go home.”

Tomko would have been one of more than 3,600 people Canada paid to abandon their refugee claims and leave the country since July, 2012, federal statistics show.

And data Global News obtained under federal access-to-information laws indicates most of these refugee claimants are Roma. Citizens of Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia make up 61 per cent of the total of people in the program – more than 1,800 by March of this year.

Immigration and Refugee Minister Chris Alexander refused to speak with Global News for this story.

“The [Canadian Border Services Agency] will not speculate on why these are the top five countries of return,” CBSA spokesperson Line Guibert-Wolf said in an e-mail.

Under the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Program, unsuccessful refugee claimants who agree to abandon the appeal process are given airfare home, which on average costs $1,500, and “in-kind reintegration assistance” to a maximum of $2,000.

That payment “may be used to pay for services such as assistance creating a small business, obtaining education and/or job training,” CBSA spokesperson Esme Bailey wrote in an e-mail.

The payments are administered by the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration, which describes the program as “politically more palatable and less sensitive than the return of émigrés in shackles.”

Since Canada began the program in 2012, it has spent a total of $7.5 million paying would-be refugees to leave.

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VAUGHAN, Ont.: Gypsy family charged in necklace scam

Seniors scammed out of jewelry in Vaughan; Markham family among accused

 

Certain criminals have no scruples.

That includes an accented woman who approached Franco Gangari, a 74-year-old Woodbridge man in his garage as he sat peacefully with his wife and his neighbour, 81.

After being approached by the female dressed in traditional Romani clothing, he was presented with a bogus story as a way to strike up a conversation about directions. Continue reading

Author Erna Paris calls Canada “mean-minded” toward refugees

Canadian mean-mindedness is back

ERNA PARIS

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

A new edition of Erna Paris’s book From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain will be published in January.

In 1979 and 1980, the government of Canada admitted 50,000 Vietnamese refugees. Ordinary Canadians were invited to participate in the boat people program. My parents and our extended relatives and friends raised enough money to sponsor a family. They were diligent workers: Before long, they were driving a better car than we were.

We did this because we remembered that a meaner Canada had refused entry to a shipload of desperate Jewish refugees from Nazism 40 years before.

That prewar mean-mindedness is back. Canada’s refugee determination system needed updating, but the Harper government has gone much too far. It has been accused of breaching international law, breaching the Constitution, and – just as important – breaching the values Canadians have defined themselves by.

Some recent examples: Last month, a 65-year-old Pakistani woman who fled to Canada because she had been accused of adultery and faced death by stoning was deported. She had appealed to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which advised Ottawa to delay the deportation until it could review her case under the UN Convention Against Torture, which Canada signed in 1985.

According to Amnesty International, our government’s patent disregard for international law will weaken its claim to be a global defender of human rights.

In July, Justice Anne MacTavish of the Federal Court ruled that the government’s cuts to health care for failed refugee claimants constituted “cruel and unusual treatment.” Denying health care puts the lives of vulnerable people at risk in a manner that “outrages our standards of decency” and is unconstitutional, she wrote. Clearly piqued, the Harper government announced this week that it would appeal the judge’s decision. It also asked the appeal court to delay enforcement of the order to resume health care until the appeal had been heard. That could be months. Continue reading

TORONTO: Slovak Roma asylum seeker Janette Ganova claims botched swastikas carved on her back by “two neo-Nazi skinheads”

 

Close-up of the swastikas on refugee claimant Janette Ganova’s back, submitted to the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Who carved two swastikas on Roma refugee’s body?

Would a Czech Roma asylum seeker be so desperate to get accepted in Canada that she’d carve two swastikas in her back to fool a refugee judge?

By:  Immigration reporter, Published on Sun Sep 07 2014

Would a Czech Roma asylum seeker be so desperate to get accepted in Canada that she’d carve two swastikas in her back to fool a refugee judge?

While Janette Ganova said the markings were cut by two neo-Nazi skinheads who kidnapped her in Zatec, Czech Republic, her now-estranged husband allegedly wrote a “poison pen letter” to immigration officials claiming that her injuries were self-inflicted.

After four hearings that stretched over two years and ended in July, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) couldn’t determine the culprits who did the crime, but rejected the Toronto woman’s claim because her evidence was inconsistent and there’s enough protection in Czech Republic for Roma. Continue reading

Media Statement: Roma Holocaust 70th commemoration

For the Roma Holocaust 70th anniversary commemoration
Saturday 2 August 2014

Ensuring the right to remembrance and dignity for the Roma people

GENEVA / NEW YORK (2 August 2014) – On the 70th anniversary of the Roma Holocaust –‘Porrajmos’ or ‘Pharrajimos’– two United Nations human rights experts urge all governments around the world to ensure the right to remembrance for the Roma people. 

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák, and the Special Adviser of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, call for stronger measures and initiatives to keep the memory of the Roma Holocaust alive and enable survivors, Roma communities and others to mark it in a recognized and dignified manner.  Continue reading

Hungarian Roma human traffickers deported from Canada

Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:48AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014 2:56PM EDT

The federal government has announced that 20 members of a large human trafficking ring based out of Hamilton, Ont. have been deported from Canada.

The 20 deported individuals were members of the Domotor-Kolompar ring and helped run the largest proven human trafficking ring in Canada, according to the statement put out by the border agency. As of Tuesday, at least 22 members of this ring have been convicted on human trafficking charges, the BSA has confirmed. All but two were deported.

The Domotor-Kolompar family brought Hungarians from their hometown to Canada with the promise of work and a better life in the Hamilton area, Canadian officials said. But the Hungarians who came over were subjected to brutal living conditions without adequate food and forced to work construction jobs for free. The human traffickers used intimidation and threats of violence to keep their victims in line, officials said.

“This flagrant abuse of persons in our immigration system demanded a strong response,” Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said in a news conference Tuesday. Continue reading

TORONTO: Bela Gulyas, 19, two 17-year-old teens and one 15-year-old, arrested in Allen-Eglinton robbery and gang rape

UPDATE: Four arrested in Allen-Eglinton robbery, sexual assault

York Guardian

One man and three youths have been arrested after a woman was sexually assaulted and robbed in the Allen Road and Eglinton Avenue area Thursday, July 17.

Police said the victim, 27, was walking on a pathway on the west side of Allen Road when a group of men surrounded her around 11:40 p.m.

She was then robbed, thrown to the ground and sexually assaulted by one man.

The suspects then fled south towards Eglinton Avenue on foot.

Four suspects were arrested Sunday, July 20.

Bela Gulyas, 19, two 17-year-old boys and one 15-year-old boy, all of Toronto, are each charged with robbery and gang sexual assault.

The youths cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police are looking for one outstanding suspect. His name or description has not been released.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

Canada’s Romani community holds protest against Sun Media Corp

Canada’s Romani community holds protest opposing Sun Media Corp.’s ‘must-carry’ application following Ezra Levant’s hateful on-air comments

As CRTC hearings begin, racist rant compels community to call for rejection of the application
and demand the firing of the Sun News Network commentator

News Release
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
For Immediate Release
TORONTO – On the same day Sun Media Corp. presented its case to the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) regarding a mandatory distribution licence, Canada’s Romani community and supporters rallied today outside the CRTC’s Toronto office to urge the national regulator to refuse Sun Media Corp.’s application and to demand the media outlet fire Ezra Levant following his nationally broadcasted xenophobic anti-Roma commentary on the Sun News Network. Continue reading

Canada erects billboards in Hungary warning of bogus refugee claims

 

This giant billboard was spotted in the city of Miskolc, Hungary.

No phony refugees allowed: Canadian billboard in Hungary
5:58 pm, January 22nd, 2013

Credits: REUTERS/CHRIS WATTIE

DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA — New billboards in Hungary tell residents not to bother coming to Canada to file an unfounded refugee claim because the rules have changed and they’ll quickly be deported.

“People with unfounded claims will be deported faster,” warn the billboards, bearing the Government of Canada logo and directing people to the Citizenship and Immigration website.

Late last week, the billboards were placed in Miskolc, a city in northeast Hungary that is home to many Roma.

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