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UPDATE: Family Allowed Entry To Australia After Rejection Over Daughter’s Autism

UPDATE: Family Allowed Entry To Australia After Rejection Over Daughter’s Autism

UPDATE, June 13, 2012: The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has intervened and the Threlfalls will be allowed into Australia! A spokesman for Bowen says that measures will be taken to “facilitate entry for the family.”


London Metropolitan Police sergeant Peter Threlfall has been told that he and his family cannot move to South Australia, where he has been offered a position as a constable, because his 25-year-old step-daughter Sarah is autistic. Threlfall and his wife, Yvonne, have been told that Sarah would be “a burden on healthcare and community services in Australia” even though she currently holds two jobs (as a cleaner and a store assistant) and has been volunteering with the Scout and Guide movement.

Threlfall had been informed that he and his family were being denied visas in December, says News.com.au. He had been trying to reverse the decision but has decided to remain in the UK, after spending six months and about $8,000 going through the recruitment process and passing up opportunities for career advancement in London.

As Threlfall says, “Sarah is not a drain on UK resources and would not have been on Australia.” The family had not been seeking any assistance from Australia for her.

The Immigration Department in Australia contends that Sarah has not met a “legislated health requirement, which was partly to restrict public expenditure on healthcare and community services.” However, had the family already been in Australia they would have been able to appeal, the department suggested, as there are “no legal grounds for a health waiver.”

News.com.au says that Filipino doctor Edwin Lapidario was only able to avoid deportation two months ago after directors at his employer, Hackham Medical Centre, agreed to pay $52,000 towards medical costs for his autistic son. In 2008, a doctor who was not from Australia faced deportation from Victoria because his son had Down Syndrome.

There have been a number a cases of other countries denying visas or residency status to families due to a child being disabled.In Canada, the Maeng family was able to remain in that country and not face deportation to South Korea only after a huge public outcry over the Canadian government saying that one of their sons, who has epilepsy, was a burden on the country’s health system. Other families residing in Canada have faced similar deportation threats due to their children’s disabilities.

Intellectual Disability Association of SA chairman David Holst and Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent are both calling for Australia’s “discriminatory” health policies to be reviewed and revised. As Vincent says,

“It is very concerning and I think insulting to put all people with disabilities in the same basket”.

“We need to stop pretending that people with disabilities and their families don’t pay taxes too.”

We need to stop making the false assumption that people with disabilities cannot contribute to society in many productive and highly beneficial ways. Indeed, Sarah, a hard-working young woman, is an outstanding example of how much an individual with disabilities can contribute.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Canadian Govt Tells Family Asperger’s Son an “Excessive Drain”

SUCCESS! Order to Deport the Maengs Rescinded

Your Unborn Baby’s Genetic Code: Do You Want To Know?

 

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99 comments

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6:39AM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

Thanks.

6:25AM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

Fadi, I kindly suggest you do a small bit of research on Australia's migration programs, as well as the use of words such as "migration", "immigration", and for fun, "emigration", before you chastise others for their use of the Engligh language. By the way, what if English was a second language to me? Are prejudiced against those whose first language is not English?

P.S.  I lived in Australia as an expat for several years.  It is up to each country to decide who they will let in and why, if you don't like it, stay home.  

http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/20planning.htm

5:23AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

Good news.

4:30PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

Good post. Thanks.

11:01AM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

I can understand not wanting more burden on the health care system, BUT people with Autism are not burdens as long as they are aware of the fact that they themselves can work and be part of society. The only person I met that could not work and had Autism also have M.S. and a number of other things. Autism itself, is not a burden, people with Autism can be taught to work, hold a job, live alone, pay their bills, even go to the hospital when they need to. They just need to be made aware of the fact that they can be independent and be encouraged to do so.

If the daughter can hold two jobs, then she is paying taxes into the system and is NOT getting a free ride, so she may very well NOT be a burden to the system.

2:05AM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

An announcement from the Australian Government / Immigration Section:

We are currently recruiting: Looking for insensitive, uncompassionate, self-centered and inhuman individuals, who are capable of hurting other people's feelings without hesitating or blinking twice. Good candidates must be able to display blind and strict enforcement of the law without questioning or doubting it. Emotionless candidates will be preferred.
Tamara H. & Pam V. I think you should apply!

Pam V: "There is nothing wrong with Australia's migration programs" by the way Pam, it is called immigration not migration, there's a difference.

Read this update carefully:

"The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has intervened and the Threlfalls will be allowed into Australia! A spokesman for Bowen says that measures will be taken to “facilitate entry for the family""

Obviously! there is something wrong with Australia's immigration laws. And if it wasn't for good people such as many here on Care2 and for other media sources that shed some light on this story, this family would have suffered alone!

12:27AM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

Tamara H. & Pam V. I think you should apply!

Pam V: "There is nothing wrong with Australia's migration programs" by the way Pam, it is called immigration not migration, there's a difference.

Read this update carefully:

"The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has intervened and the Threlfalls will be allowed into Australia! A spokesman for Bowen says that measures will be taken to “facilitate entry for the family""

Obviously! there is something wrong with Australia's immigration laws. And if it wasn't for good people such as many here on Care2 and for other media sources that shed some light on this story, this family would have suffered alone!

2:24PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

DISGRACEFUL! SHAME ON AUSTRALIA! I cant believe that can happen and i usually dont do this but i HAVE to comment on Tamara H. comment i get what your saying about a limited amount of visas but to say "regardless, this is Australia's business, and no one elses" that i DONT get if we ignored or didnt concern ourselves with all the injustices, cruelty,abuse, exploitation,and needs for humans and animals alike all over this world the WHAT kind of society and people would we be! Ignorance can kill! Its ALL of our business when humans/animals arent treated fairly ANYWHERE in this world! I respect your opinion even though i disagree and even though its WRONG! thanks for posting

1:39PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

good.

9:41AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

Interesting.

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