The United Church Observer (Canada) has published an in-depth article about Roma refugees in Canada. This article is of particular interest to those who want to know more about the influence of Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney on Immigration and Refugee Board decisions – it includes quotations from an exclusive interview with him and with an IRB representative. Also featured are Roma refugees from the Czech Republic now living in Hamilton.
“It’s the “country from which they seek protection” bit that poses big problems for European Roma looking for asylum in Canada. There is a heightened burden of proof for claimants from ostensibly liberal-democratic EU-member countries to demonstrate that the state has failed to adequately protect its citizens from persecution. In the opinion of the Mosorovs’ adjudicator, their case didn’t make the grade. In his ruling, he wrote that the family did not provide enough evidence — medical records, legal documents and the like — of the abuses they sustained or efforts they took to seek the protection of a government agency. This is a tall order for a group that’s both terrified of the authorities and largely uneducated due to systemic social exclusion. Ironically, Canada may be deporting Roma families as a result of the victimization that drove them here in the first place.”