In the statement, a copy of which was sent to MTI, the minister stated that “while Canada does not engage in ‘mass deportations’, it will continue to remove Hungarian asylum claimants whose claims are rejected by our independent refugee board.”
He noted that new reforms of Canada’s asylum system will make the removal of failed Hungarian asylum claimants back to Hungary much faster, adding that claimants from countries such as Hungary will receive less generous health and social benefits.
He stated that Canada has always been and remains open to legal immigration from Hungary, asserting at the same time that those not holding a legal work permit before arriving in Canada should not expect to work or receive benefits there.
“If you work illegally or make an unfounded asylum claim, you will be removed quickly back to Hungary,” the minister’s statement said.
Kenney paid a two-day official visit to Hungary earlier this week and held talks with Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, Interior Minister Sandor Pinter, Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog and Roma leaders. The main focus of talks was immigration from Hungary to Canada.
After a visa-free period of seven years starting in the 1990s, Canada reintroduced a visa regime for Hungarian nationals in 2001 due to the large number of immigrants (mostly Roma) arriving from Hungary. The visa requirement was lifted for Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia in 2008, which triggered another immigration wave. Kenney said at his latest talks in Budapest that tens of thousands of Hungarian Roma now lived in Canada.