We know that discrimination against people with disabilities by the Australian Department of Immigration is legal - the Dept is exempt from our own discrimination law, and the 2010 Inquiry in the Immigration Treatment of People with Disabilities, while suggesting some softening of regulations, fell short of outright condemnation, and its recommendations have not been acted upon anyway.
Thanks to Suresh Rajan for writing this piece about the latest action of our federal government towards a child with Down syndrome in the name of the Immigration Act. Thanks to the Winspear family for providing the information; we wish you well in your efforts.
As a community of people with Down syndrome, families, friends and supporters, we need to raise our voices so that this assessing the value/cost of people stops ...
"Is this what we have become? A nation that assesses the “value” of a potential entrant into this country in terms of a cost? Have we become a nation that is so economically rational that human beings are reduced to a number?
Even if we wanted to examine the cost to us as taxpayers (and I will state categorically that I am opposed to the very concept of that) the very least we could do is assess the productive capacity of this young girl and the value she may bring us in the future."
- Bastadry in Australian migration – particularly in relation to disability, Suresh Rajan, The Stringer, 19 January 2016
Perhaps not so much 'is this what we have become?', but 'is this where we still are in 2016?'