Minister Chris Alexander: Let the Pusuma family stay in Canada
  • Petitioning Minister Chris Alexander

This petition will be delivered to:

Minister Chris Alexander

Minister Chris Alexander: Let the Pusuma family stay in Canada

    1. Kristina Nagy
    2. Petition by

      Kristina Nagy

      Toronto, Canada

The Pusuma family needs our help right now to stay in Canada, and stay safe. Jozsef, Timea, and their daughter Viktoria, fled Hungary 4 years ago. They came to Canada as refugees, after Jozsef began to receive death threats, and the family was attacked outside their home. Jozsef is a high-level target for those who hate Roma because he worked for a prominent EU Parliamentarian, known for speaking out against the racism Roma face.

I'm imploring Minister Alexander to allow them to leave Sanctuary and stay in Canada by granting them a Temporary Residence Permit while they wait for justice from the Immigration and Refugee system.

Their refugee claim was rejected three years ago, but they were represented by a lawyer who failed to properly present their case, including by neglecting to file crucial evidence that showed why they are in such danger back home.
 

They have been living in Sanctuary in a church in Toronto for over two years. Imagine being Lulu, a five year old little girl who has had no opportunity to go outside, let alone attend preschool or Kindegarten. She desperately needs all our support, big and small! If you and/or yout children would like to help, here is how: www.freelulu.ca


In the meantime, the Pusumas have made a formal complaint against the lawyer for his incompetent representation. Their complaint to the Law Society of Upper Canada is one of many complaints about this same lawyer, who has represented - and lost - many, many Hungarian Roma refugee claims. In late February, after a two year investigation, the Law Society concluded that there was evidence of professional misconduct in 14 different cases, including the Pusumas. They have called the Pusumas' former lawyer in for a formal hearing about his incompetence.

While the Law Society's incompetence finding against the former lawyer is an important step, it is not a final conclusion: there still needs to be a hearing, and this could take six to twelve months, or even longer, to conclude. In the meantime, the family is stuck in a church, waiting for justice. Most or all the other 13 complainants have, it seems, already been deported, despite the Law Society's investigation of incompetent representation by their former lawyer.


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.

When news got out that the family was living in Canada as refugees, several Hungarian newspapers published articles calling Jozsef a traitor.  This family is clearly in danger if they go back.

I met them 4 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

Recent signatures

    News

    1. We are almost there!

      Kristina Nagy
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Signers of the Pusuma Petition,
      Thank you for being one of over 43,000 people who have so far signed the petition to allow the Pusuma family to live freely in Canada. We need your help to push this campaign further, by making a video, taking a photo, or calling the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
      Jozsef , Timea, and their 6 year old daughter Lulu went into Sanctuary in a church in Toronto to avoid deportation to Hungary, the country where they were violently attacked and received death threats. Their refugee claim was rejected after the lawyer that represented them failed to submit vital evidence in their case or even appear at their hearing. That lawyer is now in disciplinary proceedings before the Law Society. We don’t know how long these proceedings will take, but we do know that the family desperately needs to be able to go outside, and live like a normal family.
      The Pusuma family has now been in Sanctuary for 30 months, they continue to wait for Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to grant them Temporary Resident Permits, so that they can live freely while proceedings at the Law Society continue.
      We need your help to keep this family’s case at the front of Minister Alexander’s mind. Here’s how you can help:
      - Go Outside for Lulu
      Since Lulu can’t go outside to play or go to school, we’re asking kids (and adults!) across Canada to Go Outside for Lulu. You can do this on your own, with your family, or with your community.
      Check out our video on How to Go Outside for Lulu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_-3ngQtf24
      Make a t-shirt or a sign with ‘Free Lulu’ on it, go outdoors to a garden or park, and record your own video message to Minister Alexander. If you can’t make a video, you could take a photo. Send it to info@freelulu.ca and we’ll send it on to the Minister, and also post it on www.freelulu.ca.
      Call Minister Alexander: You can call the office of Minister Alexander, call 1-866-599-4999 for free and ask to be transferred to Minister Alexander’s office.

      I encourage you to speak from the heart, but if you want inspiration you could say:

      - “My name is ______, and I’m calling to ask Minister Alexander to grant Temporary Residence Permits to the Pusuma family. They were denied a fair hearing of their refugee claim, and should not be punished for the misconduct of their lawyer. This is a question of fairness. They must be able to live freely in Canada while their complaint continues to be heard. I would like a record to be made of my call.”
      On May 23rd we rallied outside Minister Alexander’s office in Ajax and delivered the petition you signed to the Minister’s office, the media has a continued interest in this story and the family have been featured by CBC ‘The Current’, Al Jazeera, City TV and others. An open letter signed by 25 prominent religious leaders was printed in this week’s ‘Embassy’ magazine. We continue to receive drawings and letters for Lulu, and are posting these at www.freelulu.ca. We have more hope than ever that this situation can be resolved, and that this family will be free in Canada, if we can keep up the momentum we have so far.

      Thank you for supporting the Pusuma family.

      Kristina Nagy

      Go Outside for Lulu

      Go Outside for Lulu

    2. Reached 40,000 signatures
    3. You can help free Lulu!

      Kristina Nagy
      Petition Organizer

      Tomorrow Friday, May 23 at 9:30am, we will be holding a Rally to Free Lulu outside of Minister Alexander's office in Ajax (right beside the Ajax GO Station). We would love to see you there!
      http://freelulu.ca/may-23rd-rally-to-free-lulu/

      Rally to Free Lulu

      Visit the post for more.

    4. Reached 30,000 signatures
    5. We have a new minister

      Kristina Nagy
      Petition Organizer

      A month ago, minister Jason Kenney was replaced by minister Chris Alexander as the Canadian minister of Citizenship and Immigration. I am really excited about this change! Minister Alexander is bound to be more empathetic then his predecessor.

      We have now reached the fantastic number of more the ten thousand signatures, and I am forever grateful to all of you who have signed! This is an amazing achievment but we cant stop before we reach our goal.

      Please spread the word and support this wonderful family! My children spent yesterday afternoon playing with Laura and if they could, they would ask the whole wide world to let their best friend stay here in Canada.

      Kristina

    6. Reached 10,000 signatures
    7. A Roma family’s uncertain flight to safety

      Lauryn Drainie
      Petition Organizer

      Imagine for a moment that you are witnessing what should have been a peaceful domestic scene as a young man arrives home from work in the evening. His wife and 15-month-old daughter are on the front steps, waiting to greet him.

      But just as the man picks up his daughter to give her a hug a jeep pulls up to the front of the house and four men dressed in black and carrying clubs rush to the steps.

      http://www.embassynews.ca/opinion/2013/04/02/a-roma-family%E2%80%99s-uncertain-flight-to-safety/43580?page_requested=2

    8. Reached 9,000 signatures
    9. Failed refugee claimants find sanctuary in Toronto churches

      Lauryn Drainie
      Petition Organizer
      Failed refugee claimants find sanctuary in Toronto churches

      Refugee activists in Toronto are quietly canvassing churches across the province, seeking sanctuary for failed refugee claimants facing deportation. Four Toronto churches have agreed to hide asylum-seekers whose refugee claims have been rejected and others say they are considering the request, the Star has learned.

    10. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Alba Bauman ETOBICOKE, CANADA
      • about 17 hours ago

      The Pusuma family should be allowed to stay in Canada in order to escape the dangers that this family faces in Hungary.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jill Kyer TORONTO, CANADA
      • about 17 hours ago

      equality

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Moira Hutchinson TORONTO, CANADA
      • 1 day ago

      I believe that this family deserves Canada's protection, and should not suffer because of a lawyer's lack of proper representation.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • brian garcia BRANTFORD, CANADA
      • 2 days ago

      this is important to me because i dont want to see this man killed

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Krista Henshaw NORTH VANCOUVER, CANADA
      • 4 days ago

      We as humans should be humane and offer people in need a safe place to live.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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