The Pusuma family needs our help right now to stay in Canada, and stay safe. Jozsef, Timea, and their daughter Viktoria, a Roma family fled Hungary 2 years ago. They came to Canada as refugees, after Jozsef began to receive death threats, and was attacked outside his home. At the time Jozsef worked for a prominent EU Parliamentarian advocating against Roma discrimination. I’m imploring Minister Kenney to allow them to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds and grant them permanent residence. Their refugee claim was rejected last year, but crucial evidence has never been considered in their case. They are now living in Sanctuary in a church basement in Toronto. Being born in Hungary with strong ties there still, I am painfully aware of the intolerance, racism, and violence facing Roma. Canada officially lists Hungary as a “safe country,” and it may be for many; however, it is well known internationally that Roma are persecuted. Germany for example, will not deport Roma to Hungary.
I know this is a politically difficult issue, and the Canadian Government has been reluctant to accept Roma as refugees, but this is a family that will truly face a terrible fate if sent home. Jozsef’s high-level political work for the Roma makes him a prominent target, and he will face threats on his life if he returns. I met them 2 years ago in Christie Pitts Park, close to the shelter where they were stayed when they arrived. Our families have been friends since, and our children played together until the family went into hiding. They are a wonderful family who face a terrible fate if they go home. Their only desire is to build a future here where they do no longer have to fear for their lives.
Kristina Nagy, A true close friend of the Pusuma family