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By Philippe Legrain ADD COMMENTS

A German doctor whose family was twice denied permanent residency in
Australia because of his son’s Down syndrome has been allowed to stay
after the immigration minister intervened on his behalf.

Bernhard Moeller moved to Australia with his wife and three children
nearly three years ago when he was hired to work as a specialist at a
rural hospital in the southern state of Victoria.

The family
decided to apply for permanent residency, but were appalled when their
application was rejected this month because Dr. Moeller’s 13-year-old
son, Lukas, has Down syndrome.

Australia has a longstanding
policy of weighing medical conditions in its residency decisions. Any
applicant deemed to have a condition that would incur significant costs
to the state-run health care system must be rejected under Australia’s
immigration laws.

The Moellers appealed the ruling to the
Migration Review Tribunal, the immigration department’s appellate
court, but it upheld the decision. As a final resort, the family took
the case to the federal immigration minister, Sen. Chris Evans.

Do you think the Moellers would have been allowed to stay if John Howard was still in power?

Full story in the NYT


Posted 29 Nov 2008 in Blog

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