A five year-long bureaucratic battle to stay in Canada ended Thursday for Gilda, 17, and her mother Katalin Lakatos, with the news that they will be deported back to Hungary on Aug. 11.
The Lakatos family has been in Canada since 2011, having fled what they claim is systematic and widespread racism against the Roma people in Europe. They were to be deported in May, but the federal immigration minister granted them a temporary permanent residence for two months due to “exceptional circumstances.”
“We thought that this (temporary permit) was so the government could study the humanitarian claim,” said Dafina Savic, executive director of Romanipe Montreal, a non-profit group that fights against Roma discrimination. The Lakatos family filed a claim for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds in 2015, but has yet to hear the result.
“The two months that was given to the family was … useless because it just left them in a legal limbo thinking that maybe they were going to get answers for the (humanitarian application),” Savic said. “But in reality they will be facing the deportation they had to face two months ago.”
Gilda Lakatos was distraught coming out of the hearing, expressing her frustration with the process that will see her sent back to Hungary.
“I don’t understand. Last time they stopped the deportation for two months, and now they’re still going to deport me,” said Gilda. “I feel terrible. I don’t know what else to do, and I’m so tired.”