An Abbotsford mother and sons who found sanctuary in the Walnut Grove Lutheran Church in Langley say they were ordered deported by a judge who didn’t have all the facts.
In his written decision ordering Marianna Juhasz and sons Patrik and Tamas returned to their native Hungary, Federal Court Judge Robert L. Barnes said the trio failed to provide evidence that would prove their claim of physical abuse by her ex-husband.
In Barnes’ Nov. 10 decision, provided to The Times by the court, the judge said it was “particularly troubling that the record before me fails to include a copy of the Hungarian child services decision … [that] references the allegations of child abuse that were central to the application for humanitarian and compassionate relief.”
The judge also said that Marianna Juhasz “did not produce any medical information to corroborate her allegations of an alleged violent assault in June 2010” and went on to state that “I draw an adverse inference from this failure and I conclude that Ms. Juhasz was not assaulted as she alleged.”
The Juhasz family sought sanctuary at the Langley church on Nov. 30 after the ruling.
On Thursday, Jan. 22, Juhasz and her son Patrik told The Times they have Hungarian-language documentation that supports their claims and are in the process of getting it translated.
“I have everything.” Marianna Juhasz said.
The mother and son showed a Times reporter a two-inch-thick sheaf of documents, most of it in Hungarian, that they said includes reports by police and child welfare authorities which back their version of events.
Among the documents was an English-language report from the Pal Bugat hospital in the town of Gyöngyös, Hungary that states Marianna Juhasz was treated for an injury to one arm around the time of the alleged violent assault.
The report described her arm as “bruised and sensitive” and said it was not an accident, but inflicted “by a person” who was not identified.
Marianna Juhasz told The Times she was afraid to name her husband as the attacker at the time.
She fled Hungary with her sons shortly afterwards.
Patrik Juhasz said additional documents that support their version of events have also been located.
“We’re getting more from Hungary, from my grandma,” he told The Times.
The family applied to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds shortly after they arrived in Toronto four years ago, saying they fled Hungary because Tamas, the youngest son, was being abused by his father.
One of the English-language documents provided by the family to The Times refers to the father “slapping” Tamas.
The Barnes decision doesn’t dispute the claim the son suffered abuse, but concludes that “concerns about Tamas’ psychological health are fully addressed.”
“There is no evidence that Tamas will be forced to see his father or that the Hungarian child welfare authorities would be indifferent to his interests if visitation issues were to arise,” Barnes wrote.
Marianna Juhasz said she doesn’t believe the authorities in Hungary will be able to protect her or her sons if they are forced to go back.
Walnut Grove Lutheran Church is also providing sanctuary to Langley resident José Figueroa, who has lived at the church since October of 2013 after he was ordered deported back to his native El Salvador.
Figueroa, a married father of three Canadian-born children, was ordered expelled under a zero-tolerance law that considers a Salvadorian political party he was involved with to be a terrorist group — even though the party, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), is not on any Canadian terrorist list, and is now the democratically elected government of El Salvador.