A 10-year-old Queensland boy who has autism has written to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to ask that he and his mother not be deported because he is a “burden on the system”.
Today, a 4,000 page petition of more than 122,000 signatures has been handed to the Brisbane office of Mr Dutton, who has been asked to consider the case of Maria Sevilla and her son, Tyrone.
Ms Sevilla came to Australia eight years ago to study nursing and now works at Townsville Hospital where she looks after stroke victims.
Her application for a visa which is designed to bring skilled workers to regional areas was rejected because of Tyrone’s autism.
The decision by a Migration Review Tribunal cited the “significant cost to the Australian community” of health care for Tyrone.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is preparing a report for Mr Dutton’s consideration.
“I think today is make or break,” Ms Sevilla told 612 ABC Brisbane.
“Whatever we do today will help with our case. So submitting our signatures from our petition to the minister’s office and hoping that will help our case in a positive way.
“Australia is our home. Because we have been here for nearly eight years and we’ve been assimilated in the community.
“Our immediately family which are our support and Tyrone is loving his school, he has friends there and we love his teachers.
“I have my work here and I can actually provide for Tyrone … that’s why we’re considering Australia our home.”
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