Overlooked in the immigration and refugee crisis is the status and consideration of people with disabilities.
Every so often in Canada (and other countries but I’m focusing on Canada here) a sad story will appear in the papers. It’s one that we’ve seen before and will unfortunately see again. A family has been denied permanent residency because a family member (usually a minor child) is disabled. The most recent iteration of this recurring story involves the family of York University professor Felipe Montoya. The Montoyas were denied permanent residency because their son, Nico has Down Syndrome.
Nico is being refused under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act under health grounds. The relevant section of the act maintains that someone can be denied permanent residency in Canada if,
38 (1) A foreign national is inadmissible on health grounds if their health condition
(a) is likely to be a danger to public health;
(b) is likely to be a danger to public safety; or
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