Sputnik has discussed the issue with Robert Tibbo, Human Rights Lawyer.
Sputnik: Just how difficult has it been, on the quest to achieve asylum in Canada?
Robert Tibbo: It was very difficult. It's been a long time coming but now the clients, Vanessa and Keana are so happy. For them, this has been a seven year battle.
As a lawyer, I've been fighting their cases for seven years, since the birth of Keana. So this is this is a big day today, and the start of a new chapter in their life. Canada dragged its feet for two years.
Sputnik: How did Vanessa Rodel react when you told her she had been granted asylum?
Robert Tibbo: She couldn't believe it. I called her up and I said 'I have some good news for you, you've been recognized as a refugee by Canada'.
And she says, 'Is that true?' You know, she didn't believe me, and about five times she said 'Is that true?' In the end, it finally hit her that, you know, her life was going to change in a very significant way. And I told her to start packing her bags.
Sputnik: So Ms. Rodel and her daughter have been accepted into Canada- but what does this mean for the rest of Snowden’s Guardian Angels? Will they too be granted asylum?
Robert Tibbo: Well we don't know.
On the one hand this is a fantastic result, and everybody's really excited that Vanessa and Keana are here in Canada, on Canadian soil. But even though the other two ‘Snowden Refugee’ families are very happy about this, because they see that there's hope that they may follow, at the same time they feel abandoned by Canada. They feel left behind.
They are still living in what’s been a decade, or more, of uncertainty.
Justin Trudeau was asked the same thing yesterday in the media, regarding the remaining family’s still seeking asylum, and Trudeau said that 'the Canadian Immigration Assessment process for refugees is an independent one'.
Looking at the facts of my clients cases, their cases fall squarely into that exercise of discretion that can be done at this time. So, we're asking Mr. Trudeau to please step forward and continue doing the good that he's done for the first family and apply that to the other two families.
Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Robert Tibbo and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.