A Vancouver man is alleging that immigration officials discriminate against people with Down syndrome after an application to sponsor his family was denied when authorities ruled his sister would be a burden on the system.
Accountant Kevin Patel (pictured center) applied to sponsor the immigration of his parents and 27-year-old sister Aditi from India five years ago, but received a rejection last summer. Immigration Canada explained that Aditi would, "cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada."
Patel said he was "shocked and appalled" by the decision.
"For the Canadian government and the visa officers in New Delhi in India to make such a rejection based on their presumptions about Down syndrome is completely unacceptable," he told reporters Friday.
Patel said his sister requires no medical care and is completely self-sufficient.
"We've provided every evidence there is that we can support her, we are willing to support her, because such a demand has been placed on us by the Canadian government," he said.
Don Davies, the NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway, is calling for the federal government to reverse the decsion.
"The only conclusion we can draw is that because she has Down syndrome, she was rendered inadmissible," he said.
Under Canadian health care laws, a person with Aditi's IQ of 65 has to receive life skills training, at about $60,000 over five years. According to Immigration Canada, Patel did not provide the requested plan on how he would pay for his sister's needs.
An Immigration Canada spokesperson told CTV News that Aditi's parents "claimed they had never received social services in India for their daughter, even though she had received vocational training from a charitable trust."
Patels claims his sister's vocational training was paid for, and he saw no need to present immigration authorities with plan to care for her because he believes his income is proof enough.
Monday, April 2, 2012
CTVBC in Canada:
Posted by BA Haller at 9:57 PM