New Zealand denies entry to autistic daughter of immigrants

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ASPartOfMe
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26 Apr 2022, 10:38 am

The Guardian

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A 12-year-old autistic girl from the Philippines has been barred from moving to New Zealand with her parents under immigration policies that reject people with disability or illness who may present a high cost to the health system.

The rules have been called “discriminatory” and “ableist” by advocates calling for reform.

Arianna Alfonzo, 12, has had to remain in the Philippines for the past six years while her father, Allan, works in Christchurch where he has a carpet-laying business. Both he and Arianna’s mother, Gail Alfonzo, have residency status in New Zealand. But Arianna’s applications to come to New Zealand have been denied.

The case, first reported by the New Zealand Herald, is one of hundreds rejected under New Zealand’s rules, which set a $41,000 limit over five years on an immigrant’s cost to the health system. The criteria exclude people with a number of “high-cost” conditions including physical disability, intellectual disability, autistic spectrum disorders, brain injury, multiple sclerosis and cancers.

The New Zealand Green party MP Ricardo Menéndez March, who has advocated for the Alfonzo family, called the system “a deeply dehumanising process which strips them of their human rights and makes them plead in the media and to MPs to simply be seen as the whole human beings that we all are”.

March said he was aware of about 400 residency visas that had been declined on the basis of people not meeting the health conditions. “In my view, New Zealand is far behind some comparable jurisdictions,” he said.

March said he had written to the associate immigration minister Phil Twyford asking him to reassess the Alfonzo case.


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jimmy m
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26 Apr 2022, 4:17 pm

About 50 years ago, I thought about moving there. But when I looked at how much taxation was applied to citizens in that country, I decided against it. Also they are very, very strict about who they allow to immigrate into the country. I came to the conclusion that if you are wealthy and live in New Zealand, you pay little tax for your wealth. But if you try and earn a living, you were taxed to death. It is a strange place to live.


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cyberdad
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26 Apr 2022, 4:37 pm

If you google Australia and NZ autism migration you will find both countries have had harsh laws against entry of families with children diagnosed with chronic disability.

The premise is the cost to the economy of supporting a child who needs life-long support.

Both Aust and NZ are highly sought after destinations for migrants so since the 1980s where there has been an influx of migrants, the government stipulates migrants need to have skills/qualities that will make them contributors to the country....not economic "burdens"



Joe90
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26 Apr 2022, 5:47 pm

Note to self: Don't immigrate to Australia.


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cyberdad
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27 Apr 2022, 1:31 am

Joe90 wrote:
Note to self: Don't immigrate to Australia.


These laws target parents looking to find medicare/NDIS insurance support for a chronically disabled child. They don't apply to a person with autism if they are capable of employment and looking after themselves.



Ettina
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30 Apr 2022, 6:33 am

cyberdad wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Note to self: Don't immigrate to Australia.


These laws target parents looking to find medicare/NDIS insurance support for a chronically disabled child. They don't apply to a person with autism if they are capable of employment and looking after themselves.


Maybe Joe90 meant that she wouldn't want to live in a place that treats people unfairly like that? I was definitely thinking I wouldn't want to immigrate to Australia even if this rule didn't personally affect me.



cyberdad
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30 Apr 2022, 10:01 pm

Ettina wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Note to self: Don't immigrate to Australia.


These laws target parents looking to find medicare/NDIS insurance support for a chronically disabled child. They don't apply to a person with autism if they are capable of employment and looking after themselves.


Maybe Joe90 meant that she wouldn't want to live in a place that treats people unfairly like that? I was definitely thinking I wouldn't want to immigrate to Australia even if this rule didn't personally affect me.


Possibly. I did watch a 4-corners documentary on an Australian woman with dual British/Australian passport who returned to England because she felt the education system in England was much more accommodating for her autistic daughter. Having said that her daughter was noticeably presenting as an NT who was also a high achiever academically so I wasn't sure what the specific problem the girl had? perhaps bullying?



y-pod
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03 May 2022, 7:02 pm

That's too bad. Unfortunately that's not the only country doing that. I think Canada would have rejected the whole family if one member is disabled. Well at least they wouldn't be separated. :roll:


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cyberdad
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03 May 2022, 7:04 pm

y-pod wrote:
That's too bad. Unfortunately that's not the only country doing that. I think Canada would have rejected the whole family if one member is disabled. Well at least they wouldn't be separated. :roll:


Yes I am not surprised