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Minister Scott Morrison: don't deny residency to the Kabir family because their son has autism

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I was astounded when I saw the email from Enamul. I couldn't believe that this was still happening in our country. My friend and former colleague's family is about to be deported from Australia -- the reason: his son has mild autism.

Enamul and Siuly Kabir are caring parents, taxpayers, both have PhDs - one an academic at the University of Queensland, the other a researcher in Biomedical Engineering. But because of archaic migration laws still on the books -- when their son was diagnosed with a mild form of autism, the government rejected their application for permanent residency.

The ‘net benefit’ approach as recommended by the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into the Migration Treatment of Disability ("Enabling Australia" published in June 2010) appears to have been completely ignored.

Despite meeting every other criteria for residency, and having lived here for years -- they gave the Kabir family just three months to up and leave the country.

We as Australians pride ourselves on being a fair-minded society, but it seems this is being diminished by our unwillingness to accept children with disabilities as residents. The blanket approach in deciding such cases does not take into account the contribution the whole family makes to the community – in this case two highly skilled parents already contributing substantially to the Australian Economy.

Most importantly, the school support that Shadman Srijon receives here is not available in Bangladesh, their country of origin. And it is likely that a return to that environment would severely limit any further improvement in his condition.

This decision would devastate a family. And what would it say about our country -- are we willing to reject people just because they have a disability?

There could be just days left to turn this around and ensure that the Kabir family are allowed to stay in Australia.Please sign my urgent petition asking Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to intervene in the Kabir family's case.

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