Category Archives: Refugees

Hungarian Roma human traffickers deported from Canada

Josh Elliott,
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

Andy Radia is asking Canadians if we should accept more refugees

Should Canada accept more refugees?

By  | Canada Politics – Fri, 20 Jun, 2014

The world is in the midst of a refugee crisis — the likes of which we haven’t seen since the second World War.

That’s the message in a new report from the United Nations that asks developed countries like Canada to welcome more of the world’s displaced families.

The report, released in conjunction with International Refugee Day, claims that, thanks to crises in parts of the Middle East and Africa, 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, fully 6 million more than the 45.2 million reported in 2012.

“The international community has to overcome its differences and find solutions to the conflicts of today in South Sudan, Syria, Central African Republic and elsewhere,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in a statement.

“Non-traditional donors need to step up alongside traditional donors. As many people are forcibly displaced today as the entire populations of medium-to-large countries such as Colombia or Spain, South Africa or South Korea.” Continue reading

Refugee Jose Figueroa has chances to remain in Canada

Increasingly, people are replacing coffee, cotton, and sugar as El Salvador’s most important export. Remittances are now a critical source of national income, making up over half of all export earnings and more than 17 percent of GDP.


A senior immigration officer’s decision to deny permanent residency to a failed asylum seeker because of his links to a resistance movement in El Salvador did not take into account “exceptionally strong” humanitarian and compassionate reasons to let him stay, a federal judge has ruled in a case that activists say highlights how Canada’s laws can too easily peg someone as a security threat

Jose Figueroa, who came to Canada as a refugee in 1997, was once a member of Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional (FMLN) that opposed El Salvador’s former military regime. He helped recruit for the FMLN and organized meetings but was not involved in the armed struggle.

In a decision last year, Karine Roy-Tremblay, director of case determination for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, rejected Figueroa’s application to be allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds after he had been deemed inadmissible to the country on security grounds.

While acknowledging that he had not taken part in any violent campaigns with the FMLN, Roy-Tremblay said Figueroa was “not just a sympathizer to the causes.” She deemed him to have been a member of an organization that engaged in terrorism, and, therefore, a security risk.

But in a ruling posted online Monday, Richard Mosley, a federal judge, said the immigration officer’s decision was unreasonable “as it failed to take into account the nature of the conflict and Mr. Figueroa’s personal role as a non-combatant political advocate” and ordered that a different immigration officer review the application. Continue reading

Syrian gay refugees ready to come to Canada

Syrian refugee applications quietly sped up by Ottawa

Government promised to bring in 1,300 Syrian refugees by the end of 2014

By Laura Lynch, CBC News Posted: Jun 27, 2014 1:37 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 27, 2014 1:37 PM ET

Canadian immigration officials appear to have quietly sped up Syrian refugee applications following months of criticism.

Almost a year ago, the government promised to bring 1,300 Syrians to Canada by the end of 2014. Refugee advocates have accused Ottawa of failing to live up to that promise, claiming that they know of no privately sponsored refugees who have arrived in Canada as part of the program announced last year. Continue reading

Former refugee returns to South Sudan as aid worker

The Kuol family (from left – daughter Nyel, mother Abeny, and daughters Yom and Naomi), fled the violence in Sudan, eventually finding their way to Canada in 1999. Now Abeny is returning to South Sudan as an aid worker. (CBC)

Former refugee returns to South Sudan as aid worker

Abeny Kuol is leaving the safety of Canada to offer help in South Sudan

CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2014 6:00 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 02, 2014 6:00 AM ET

Abeny Kuol knows about danger.

As a very young mother in Sudan in 1984, she was desperate to flee the fighting around her. She carried three small daughters – in her arms and on her back – first across Sudan, then later through Ethiopia to Kenya. It was a journey that covered thousands of kilometres and took many months. Continue reading

MONTREAL, QC: Illegal Ivonne Hernandez fights deportation to Mexico

Ivonne Hernandez, 41, arrived in Montreal in 2009 and filed to remain as a refugee based on her claim that she was abused by a police officer in her hometown of Mexico City. Read more:

Woman fights order to leave Canada without her baby
Read more:

CTV Montreal
Published Saturday, February 1, 2014 5:32PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 1, 2014 6:34PM EST

MONTREAL – Local human rights advocates are crying foul after a Mexican woman denied refugee status was ordered to leave the country without the right to take her Canadian-born baby.

Ivonne Hernandez, 41, arrived in Montreal in 2009 and filed to remain as a refugee based on her claim that she was abused by a police officer in her hometown of Mexico City.

She was given partial custody of her child after a split with her husband, against whom she made a claim of domestic abuse after their split.

Hernandez’s refugee claim was refused and she now faces deportation on February 7. She cannot bring her baby at that time because she remains embroiled in an unresolved custody dispute with the baby’s father.


Kitchener: Refugee clinic funded by the Ontario Health Insurance Program and the federal Interim Federal Health program opens

Frances Barrick, Record staff
Tue Apr 02 2013 16:19:00
Health clinic for refugees to open Thursday in Kitchener

KITCHENER – A health clinic dedicated to the ongoing care of refugees will open Thursday in Kitchener.

It is the first such clinic in Waterloo Region.

“I think it is a service that needs to exist….I think here is a huge need,” said Dr. Michael Stephenson, 34, who is the director and sole physician of this new clinic called Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre.

The clinic will operate on Thursdays at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 825 King St. W. until Stephenson said he finds a more permanent location. Continue reading

Canada to welcome 1,000 additional Bhutanese refugees from Nepal

There are many ethnic groups in Bhutan, and no one group constitutes a majority of the Bhutanese population.In the 1990s, Bhutan expelled or forced to leave nearly one-fifth of its population in the name of preserving its Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist culture and identity, claiming that those expelled were illegal residents. The decision was motivated by the concern that the fast growing Nepali minority would take over the country, recalling similar events that caused the collapse of the nearby kingdom of Sikkim in 1975. (Wiki)

News Release — Canada to Welcome 1,000 Additional Bhutanese Refugees
Providing Protection to the World’s Most Vulnerable

Ottawa, March 27, 2013 — Canada will welcome up to 1,000 additional Bhutanese refugees from Nepal, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

“Canada has a longstanding tradition of assisting refugees and welcomes one in 10 refugees resettled globally, more than almost any other country in the world,” said Minister Kenney. “We recognize the importance of family reunification in this process, and resettling refugees who already have family in Canada will help them adjust much faster and more easily.” Continue reading

Maria Morales suing Alberta Health Services over her cancer misdiagnosis


Morales is suing Alberta Health Services, Calgary Laboratory Services and the pathologist for missing her cancer when it was in its early stages.

Cancer, denied refugee claim sour Mexican woman’s Canadian dream
Couple from Mexico coping with misdiagnosis and cuts to refugee health care
CBC News Posted: Mar 19, 2013 1:51 PM MT Last Updated: Mar 19, 2013 9:06 PM MT
A Mexican couple’s dream of starting over in Canada is unravelling amid a misdiagnosed cancer, a lawsuit and rejected refugee claims from Ottawa.

Maria Morales and Ivan Nava came from Tierra Colorada in Guerrero state in southwestern Mexico, a region controlled by drug cartels and corrupt police.
‘I couldn’t believe it. When they gave us the news, I felt so sad.’
— Maria Morales
Morales’s former partner, an architect and father to her now grown son, was killed for reasons that were never clear to her, she says. Continue reading