High Court Says Immigration Officials Cannot Reject Families On
Child's Disability Alone
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 25, 2005
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--Canada's Supreme Court ruled 7-2 last Friday that families should not be kept from immigrating to the country simply because they have a child with disabilities.
The decision sends two cases back to immigration officials to be reconsidered: The family of South African businessman David Hilewitz, who has a son described by the Globe and Mail as "mildly retarded", planned to move to Canada, as did the family of Dutch dairy farmer Dirk De Jong, who has a daughter that was also described as "mildly retarded".
Both families said they have the resources to pay for any supports their children may need.
But guidelines in Canada's Immigration Act allow officials to reject families whose children are considered likely to place "excessive demands" on the county's social welfare system. Both families were rejected solely on that basis.
The court sent the two applications back to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for reconsideration by different visa officers.
"Willingness to pay for handicapped kids relevant in immigration: high court" (Macleans)
"Ruling could change way disabled immigrants processed" (Globe and Mail)