In what will be good news Kinley Wangchuck (second from right in the photo), an 18 year old student with hearing loss, and his family will not be deported from Australia.
Australian Immigration Minister David Coleman MP has used his discretionary powers to grant permanent residency to Kinley and his family.
This came after an online campaign change.org headed by David Randall collected more than 51,032 signatures, which included many Bhutanese signatures, and the campaign also attracted media attention and public support in Australia.
The campaign even did a rally outside the Australian Parliament in support of Kinley and his family. Bhutanese in Australia attended the rally to support the family.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) had rejected the family’s application for permanent residency on the basis that Kinley’s health needs could be a burden on Australia’s health system.
The campaign said that living in Queanbeyan, NSW the family had moved to Australia from Bhutan in 2012 and for 7 years and had thrived in the community as students, cleaners, childcare workers, and aged care workers.
The campaign pointed out that Kinley’s teachers describe him as warm, friendly, responsible, independent, and a benefit to the community.
It also said that Kinley and his family are valued and upstanding members of their school, work, and local communities.
So, if deported, Kinley would lose the learning and social supports which enable him to thrive in Australia.
The campaign said that deporting Kinley and his family would be unfair and unjust, and a striking example of prejudice against people with disabilities.
The family was concerned that Kinley had been exposed to the Auslan sign language and would have to start from scratch in Bhutan.
Kinley and his brother were also used to the Australian education system for many years and would have difficulty adapting to the different education system in Bhutan.
(Photo Courtesy: ABC News, Ben Harris)