The hardline immigration policy of the US has affected a Hungarian family as well, according to blikk.hu. A Hungarian 2-year-old has been separated from his parents and sent to an immigrant centre in the Bronx, far away from his parents. Now, his half-sister may be able to bring him back to Hungary, to be among family again.
The Hungarian family’s case
A Hungarian family has now been affected by the harsh US regulations, as they were caught last month at border control between Canada and the US. The parents were sent to a state jail while their son went to an immigrant centre, completely alone.
A family friend, John Young, said the problem is that nobody speaks the little boy’s language. The parents, Regina (42) and László (45), contacted Young to ask him to try to arrange that their son could go home to his older sister in Hungary.
They emphasised that their primary goal is to make sure the little boy gets out of the centre, no matter where the parents end up.
They most probably will be deported. However, it is unclear why the family cannot wait for the verdict together in Buffalo.
The little boy recently celebrated his 2nd birthday, by the way. However, considering he spent it at a New York immigrant centre, away from his family, it probably was not a very happy birthday.
He does not talk or eat properly in the centre, which is not surprising at all. He is scheduled for psychological analysis, even though the main problem is that he is surrounded by a foreign language and cannot see his parents.
Gábor Makai psychologist says that a sense of security for a 2-year-old comes from his parents. “Levente’s sense of security has been fundamentally shaken. The ground has been cut from under his feet. The absence of his parents and the separation cause his relationship with the outside world to change, he is probably scared and extremely terrified.” – claims the expert.
The background on immigration policies
The US has a zero policy regarding illegal immigrants, which became especially apparent in the past weeks. Many children got separated from their parents.
Outrage ensued when news emerged that hundreds of families that were illegally trying to enter the country got torn apart at the US border.
Even Melania Trump spoke out against the heartless practices. The law has existed for over 20 years but could potentially be revoked in the near future. President Trump ordered the separations to stop, and it has been announced that families arriving with children will not be prosecuted for now. However, the over 2000 children separated since April have still not been reunited with their parents and live on in immigrant camps.
Hope for the young boy
Now, it seems like Levente can escape his unfavourable circumstances with the help of his big sister. Laura (23) has been dealing with the American bureaucracy for over a month. She revealed that
“As far as I know, my brother is with foster parents, so he is among the lucky ones not placed at one of those camps.”
She also said that communication with her father is difficult, making the exact circumstances of their situation unclear. They have not discussed the happenings yet; she only thought there might be a problem when it turned out the family members were not on their flight returning from Canada. Luckily, she has had positive experiences with the Hungarian authorities who have been very helpful and do their best to help the process of bringing the young Levente home. For instance, they ensured the immigration office that the sister’s flat is perfectly suitable for the little boy. It is not dangerous at all.
“We will bring him home as early as we can, I will leave for him as soon as possible.”
After hearing the story of the child, the Ronai & Ronai law firm took on the case pro bono. The two star lawyers, Péter Rónai and Holly Ostrov Ronai, are working on getting the child out of the centre and back to his family as soon as possible. They also represented Hungarians in the case of the catastrophe of the Costa Concordia luxury cruise.
“It is a complicated case, but we do everything we can to ensure the child and his parents are reunited as soon as possible.”
They also offered to pay for Laura’s plane ticket to the US. Supposedly, she could be able to get Levente out of the centre as she is a family member. However, different documents and salary confirmations are needed for that. If US authorities decide that her salary is not sufficient, the law firm offered to be a sponsor and help her get her brother out.
In the past days, the US decided to prevent children under the age of 5 to be separated from their parents for more than 20 days. The Hungarian Foreign Office has reportedly been in contact with the centre where Levente is and also contacted his parents, who agreed that the child should be brought home to Hungary.
For news about Hungary’s stance on illegal immigration, check out this article about the ruling party’s efforts to criminalise organisations supporting immigrants.