While there are undoubtedly real concerns about protecting Canada from undesirable and even dangerous immigrants, the procedures used have been less than fair, subjecting current suspects to years of imprisonment and onerous bail conditions without adequate opportunity to address the government's information.
The media have not paid enough attention to the plight of the Roma in Europe. The Roma's living conditions are miserable, and they suffer from serious discrimination in education and employment, and attacks from racists and neo-Nazis. Because of the conditions they face in Europe, a number of Czech Roma fled to Canada in 2008 and 2009. Their Hungarian cousins quickly began to follow suit. Across these international borders, the Roma's struggle for rights and survival has not been an easy one.
The Nazis did not kill them all, but racists in Eastern Europe and Italy are intent on making life miserable for those that are still around. I'm speaking about a people variously known as Rom, Roma, Romany, Sinti, and Gypsies. The slaughter of the Roma by the Nazis is poorly documented; figures from 200,000 to a million and a half have been cited, which may have amounted to as much as 80% of their population in Europe at the time. Their ongoing persecution has led to a burgeoning demand for refugee status in Canada.
Since 1983 when a Guatemalan refugee sought sanctuary in a