11/15/2014 07:42 EST | Updated 01/15/2015 05:59 EST

Vietnamese immigrants arrive after years of legal limbo

After spending decades in stateless, legal limbo, 14 Vietnamese refugees arrived in Toronto on Saturday — brought to Canada by fellow "boat people" who immigrated here years ago. 

For 25 years Sabay Kieng and dozens of others have been stuck in Thailand — stateless — after fleeing Vietnam.

His refugee claims were repeatedly denied, but because of a special arrangement between the federal government and Thailand, he and his family are now able to live in Canada. 

They arrive thanks in part to sponsors David Huynh and his wife, who made the journey from Vietnam to Canada themselves years ago. 

Huynh told CBC News he wanted to "pay it back" for the help he received when he made the trek.

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