TORONTO - After six arduous years, “freedom at last”. Thanks to resiliency, courage and determination (along with some competent, professional help).
If nothing else, those three qualities will forever be the legacy that the children of the Demitri will remember as exemplifying their mom and dad.
Yesterday, Mr. and Mrs. Demitri, placing their trust and their future in the hands of their lawyer, Richard Boraks, voluntarily turned themselves in to the Canadian Border Services Agency on Airport Rd.
There were outstanding “removal orders” and “arrest warrants” in their names. If effected, they would have been picked up and sent back to Italy.
Prior to yesterday, they had opted for evasion, preferring to stay in hiding rather than run the risk of being returned to a country where a particular criminal organization had already targeted them.
Notwithstanding the civility of the Italy and its contributions to law and jurisprudence, some covert organizations that operate outside the ponderous legal system can execute their own brand of Justice.
The “Demitri file” has become a focus of international attention in the Daily Press and Media, including Canada’s National Post, the UK Guardian, a plethora of Italian newspapers and, of course, our own Corriere Canadese, which first raised their dilemma.
Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, was skeptical and indi.erent to their plight, despite the fact that two of their four children were born here.
Moreover, “the system” has never denied the veracity of their fears nor of their contentions. Yet, “arbitrators” have consistently maintained that the family can/should seek refuge elsewhere.
Yesterday, as per the dictates of “the process”, Richard Boraks, their lawyer, invigilated at their arrest and subsequent release – with minimal conditions – and placed an immediate request for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) and a work permit.
“The Demitri are excellent candidates for Immigration Canada’s intake programme”, said Boraks, adding that, “they are the type of future Canadians any wise, long-term thinking government would recruit.”
“For whatever reason, the Minister for Immigration had dug in his heels and refused to let this Italian family be a part of Canada. Now we’ll have an opportunity to hear why at the PRRA hearing”, he said.
The Demitri are, understandably, a little less stressed today even if what happened is in fact little more than “an opening of the door”.
“Yes, we were nervous, anxious; after all, our children have been living under abnormal circumstances for the better part of a year since we were denied our Humanitarian and Compassionate application and given removal orders”, said an overjoyed Mrs. Demitri.
She added, “our children have not been able to attend school, develop friendships, be like all normal kids; it breaks my heart, for fear of Canadian authorities”.
That’s all changed today, she gushed. He husband, was grateful to the Community: “without its support (moral and material) we would not have lasted this long.
There is a special place in our heart for all those friends and parishioners who accepted the unstinting leadership of Vittorio Pasquali on our behalf. And we would have gotten nowhere without Richard (Boraks)”.
Boraks did not deny that the “battle is not over”. “At least the immediate pressure is off; they can go to church, their kids to school, meet people, go to work while we solve the impasse”, he said.
“It is incomprehensible that an immigration plan which has welcomed over one million immigrants, in the last three years under this government, couldn’t find room for six Italians who are healthy productive individuals”, he said.
From here on, “we’ll do the best to right what is wrong on this file and let them get on with their lives”, he added. Minister Hussen did not immediately return calls for comment.