This story is so screwed up:
The Benhmuda family fled Libya in 2000, after the father, Abel Benhmuda was being harassed and beaten by Libyan police, who were looking for his brother, who belonged to a group resisting the Ghadhafi regime.
In 2008, the Canadian government rejected their refugee claim, and sent the family back to Libya, where Abel was promptly arrested and tortured.
They eventually fled to Malta, where they lived in a shipping container for a while, before the UN High Commission for Refugees found them an apartment. Given that they had a history in Canada, the UNHCR asked Canada to consider accepting them as refugees.
Their request was initially rejected, but then it came to light that officials in the Canadian Immigration Office in Rome had been biased against the family's case before they even submitted it. One officer, among other things, falsely claimed that they family had been of Social Assistance the 8 years that they had been in Canada, (the Dad had actually be working two jobs) and ignored the fact that their application included a letter from Abel's former employer, that promised him a job on his return to Canada.
This resulted in their case receiving another hearing, this time from the Immigration Office in Paris. This time, the family was accepted as refugees.
But there's a catch: Before they can return to Canada, they have been ordered to pay the Government back for their deportation from Canada! Two of the four Benhmuda children are Canadian citizens, so they don't have to pay the fees, but the other four family members are expected to cough up $6800, within the next 6 months, or else they cannot come back.
This case disgusts me so much. Canada has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees. My Grandparents helped refugees from the Soviet Union settle in Canada. When I was a kid, my Church sponsored a family of Boat People. The town that I live in now hosted a farm school for 100 Armenian boys orphaned during the genocide. This FUCKERY should not be happening.
The Immigration Minister was asked about this case during Question Period, today, and he was completely non-committal saying that they were looking into to see maybe they could waive some of the fees.
Anybody know where the Marg symbol is stashed? Need to call the Princess Warrior to do some smiting.