A Roma family from Hungary hoping to remain in Canada has been granted a stay of deportation.
Renata and Tibor Buzas and their three children were supposed to fly back to Hungary Thursday, but a federal court judge has ruled they can stay while they continue their fight to live in Canada.
' I think it was like a miracle to them.' - Éric Taillefer, immigration lawyer
Family members say they've faced violence and harassment in Hungary.
“I want to forget everything. It’s taking time, but I want to forget everything," said 11-year-old Mercedesz Buzas.
The family of five first came to Quebec in 2011. They were denied refugee status in March 2013 and given a deportation date of July 3, 2014.
In the meantime, they applied for permanent residency on humanitarian grounds. The family is still waiting for Immigration Canada to respond to that application.
Today — the day before the family was to be deported — immigration lawyer Éric Taillefer got a phone call advising him that a judge granted 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. I think it was like a miracle to them,” Taillefer said, adding that he thinks the judge made the right decision.
“There are three very well integrated kids concerned by this application. Everyone is ready to say that Roma are discriminated in Hungary. They have lived in a very hostile environment their whole life. It’s since they arrived in Canada that they have been able to live and not just survive.”
Mercedesz Buzas said it was the happiest moment of her life.
“Here in Canada it's better — we have a better life. No one cares where you're from, what your culture is,” she said.
Taillefer said the stay is only a temporary reprieve. He now has 30 days to send his arguments to Canada’s Immigration Ministry.
“Then the Minister has another 30 days to answer. Of course this buys us some time but the ultimate goal is for the family’s (permanent residency) humanitarian application to be processed by Immigration Canada before a new deportation date could be fixed.”
Taillefer said if the humanitarian application is accepted, the family could stay in Canada. If it is not accepted, he will proceed with their case and he said court proceedings could last months.