Autistic Australians condemn 'disgusting' visa decision

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
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17 Nov 2022, 8:06 am


Australia's autism community has expressed outrage at a government decision to deny a Cairns family permanent residency after their child was diagnosed with the condition.

As reported by on Tuesday, seven-year-old Seongjae Lim was born in Australia but has been deemed a burden on the taxpayer, causing the Department of Home Affairs to deny his family's application for skilled regional visas.

The Korean family is now facing deportation - after living in Australia for more than a decade - unless Immigration Minister Andrew Giles or Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil choose to intervene in their case.
Australian actress Chloe Hayden, who is herself autistic, threw her support behind the Lim family, calling on the government to allow them to stay in Australia in a post on social media.

Hayden, who played autistic teen Quinni to widespread acclaim in the recent Netflix reboot of Heartbreak High, told the government was looking at autism in the wrong way.
"Being autistic isn't a burden, and anyone who believes otherwise - especially the Australian government - needs to seriously cop on and pull their head out," she said.

Hayden said she was worried cases like this would discourage many families from getting the help they need.
"This isn't going to just affect this one family, this affects all disabled and ill Australians and immigrants as a whole," Hayden said.
"This situation is going to discourage parents from seeking medical help for their children because of a real and genuine fear of being deported."

Other Australians with autism were also quick to express their despair over the case.
"As an actually autistic Australian citizen who was born in Australia I am disgusted," Nicole, from Tasmania, wrote in a post on Facebook.

"It is extremely ableist and I do not stand by it in the slightest. Not only does it deny the valuable contributions that autistics make to our society, it also tells Australian autistics that we are not welcome in our own country."

Seongjae's mother Yoojin Yang and father Hyusin Lim run a local restaurant in Cairns.
Yoojin said she and her family considered Australia their home.

"We are asking the minister to give us a chance to live in Australia," Yoojin said.

Yoojin said she was extremely worried about how Seonjae and the whole family would cope if they had to move back to Korea.

"Seonjae's main language is English, but many Koreans don't speak English very well," she said.

In July this year, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld the government's decision to reject the family's visa application.

In upholding the decision, the AAT cited a report from a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth which found Seonjae had moderate autism spectrum disorder and was likely to require long-term support services.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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17 Nov 2022, 4:46 pm

Wow. How is he not an Australian citizen if he was born in Australia?


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Joined: 2 May 2019
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17 Nov 2022, 5:26 pm

Worthless wrote:
Wow. How is he not an Australian citizen if he was born in Australia?

I don’t think it works the same way in Australia as it does in the USA. Hell, I’d probably have an easier time getting Australian passport than that family since my father is an Australian citizen, despite the fact that I’ve never set foot over there.

When anti-vaxxers get in my face, I say ... Have a Nice Day!