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Canada set to automatically reject Hungarian asylum claims

June 19th, 2012

A pro-government columnist welcomes the Canadian government’s plan to end the practice of granting refugee status to Hungarian claimants. Canada, he believes, has recognized that the mainly Roma Hungarian asylum seekers are not facing persecution, as NGOs and left-wing opposition parties claim.

According to a new bill, Hungary will in future be considered a “safe country”, and thus Hungarians applying for refugee status in Canada will automatically be deported from the country within 45 days. Between January and May more than 1,200 Hungarians (mostly Roma) applied for asylum in Canada – more than the citizens of any other country in Europe. Recent asylum seekers include Viktória Mohácsi, a former MEP of the liberal SZDSZ, and Ákos Kertész, a prominent left-wing writer (see BudaPost through September 7, 2011). The law, which has already been adopted by the House of Commons, is now on the agenda of the Senate.

The Canadian House of Commons’ vote is a slap in the face for both the fake refugees and the Hungarian left-wing parties and NGOs, which claim that Hungarian Roma have been persecuted by the centre-right government, Tamás Pihál writes in Magyar Nemzet.

Pihál believes most of the fake refugees have been assisted by “ethnic entrepreneurs” and civil rights NGOs, who helped them with their travel arrangements and advised them how to seek asylum by claiming persecution in Hungary. He adds that some of the fake refugees left the country in order to avoid criminal procedure in Hungary.

Most of these refugees have, however, disappeared or withdrawn their claims, but still managed to avoid deportation and enjoy welfare benefits for years, Pihál remarks. The Canadian authorities have approved only 1 to 2 percent of the asylum requests. Some of the Hungarian fake asylum seekers in Canada seem to have lived off the same kind of petty crimes they used to practice in Hungary, Pihál notes.

The right-wing commentator wonders how long the fake refugees and the “treacherous” left-wing intellectuals also seeking asylum in Canada and other states on the basis of alleged persecution will be seen as the “Western poster boys” of Hungary.

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