STATEMENT FROM THE I CAN NETWORK ON THE FORCED DEPORTATION OF A YOUNG PERSON WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY/AUTISM

The I CAN Network strongly condemns the Australian Government’s decision to reject the appeal of Western Sydney Doctor Nasrin Haque and her family to stay in Australia.

Dr Haque has had her visa cancelled due to her daughter Sumaya’s developmental delay, which the Immigration Department has ruled would be a burden on Australian tax payers.

This is despite the family having lived in Australia for eight years, and despite the fact that Sumaya is fully supported financially by her family.

What makes this case even more unfortunate is that the Department of Immigration is wrong.

Autism is not a burden, and nor is it a condition that should be eradicated from our society through forced deportations or by any other means.

The Immigration Department’s decision follows a pattern of decisions whereby potential citizens have had their permanent residency rejected due to Autism.

The I CAN Network exists to prove to people what Autism can do, and the benefits that come when a society embraces neurodiversity. This includes people like our Ambassador Penny Robinson, a Lecturer at Monash University who is teaching a new generation to love statistics; our Evaluation Manager, James, who is researching a cure for cancer in his PhD; and our Chief Enabling Officer Chris Varney, who has brought a rethink of Autism to the Australian community. In fact, one of the Network’s clients is the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which leverages the strengths of Autistic individuals in their workplace and has seen the skills that people on the Spectrum can bring to their community.

The I CAN Network calls upon the Department of Immigration to speak with their colleagues at the Bureau of Statistics, to see for themselves the contribution these upstanding members of society can make. If Dr Haque and her family are made to leave Australia, we lose out on the skills and experience the whole family has brought to and developed within our borders – and the future potential of her daughter, Sumaya.

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