Australia's federal government has decided to deport a woman and her 10-year-old son to their native Philippines because the boy, who has autism, could be a burden to taxpayers if he becomes a citizen later in life.
Many organizations raise awareness for autism on World Autism Day but, Maria Sevilla, Townsville nurse and her son Tyrone (10), who have been in Australia for eight years, had a skilled working visa rejected by the Immigration Department due to her son's autism condition.
Tyrone was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2008.
Sevilla had appealed to the Migration Review Tribunal but the application was rejected and they could be deported in 28 days.
Sevilla said, "I hope I'm not considered as a burden. I'm trying my best to work for Tyrone's future. I would not be able to give Tyrone the same quality of life in the Philippines. It's like; I'm pleading for our life, for Tyrone's future."
Coralee O'Rourke, Queensland Disabilities Minister, called it a "cold, heartless decision" by the Federal Government. "I call on them to reverse the decision," said, O'Rourke.
Peter Dutton, Immigration Minister said, "The family could go back to the tribunal and attempt to sway away its decision." Ms Sevilla said that she hoped Mr Dutton would use his ministerial power and allows them to stay.