Immigration

This Irish family is facing deportation because of their son's cystic fibrosis

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The Hyde family have lived in Australia for 10 years but are now facing deportation within weeks due to a government ruling that their son's condition will make him a burden on the taxpayer.

An Irish family is reportedly facing deportation from Australia because their four-year-old son, who was born in Australia, has cystic fibrosis and requires expensive medicine to treat his condition.

Anthony and Christine Hyde appeared on Seven's Sunrise program on Friday morning, calling on the Immigration Minister Peter Coleman to let them stay.

"We would like to get some reassurance that the case will be looked at and look at us as a whole, a whole unit, and what we do contribute at the moment and in the future to Australia," Mr Hyde told Sunrise.

The Hyde family has been told they will have to leave Australia within weeks.
The Hyde family has been told they will have to leave Australia within weeks.
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"We both work and volunteer. We feel like we're part of the community, part of Australia."

Mr Coleman has the power to intervene and grant the family the right to stay after the latest rejection. 

The family have been living in Victoria since 2009 but first applied for permanent residency in August 2016, weeks before their son Darragh was born and diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

They said they have been given until 18 June to leave the country, unless the minister intervenes.

"It's a reality now, we have a date. We always knew it would come to this, three and a half years ago when we started that journey to appeal it," Ms Hyde said.

"It's pretty scary. This is our home and we've been asked to leave."

Ms Hyde, who works as an acting assistant principal, said she is confident that if the minister looked at their case, they would get a "good outcome".

Under Australian migration law, potential migrants are required to pass a health requirement before they are granted a visa or permanent residency.

If a medical officer of the government (MOC) deems a medical condition or disability to be too costly for the taxpayer - more than $40,000 - the application for the entire family is denied.

The family said the drug Darragh needs to survive, Kalydeco, costs more than $300,000 per year - far more than the cost threshold set out in the government's immigration regulations.

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Earlier this year, a Bhutanese family was allowed to stay in Australia after the minister intervened in the case, weeks after being told they had to leave because of their 18-year-old son's hearing impairment.

The Wangchuck family, who live in Queanbeyan, were granted Subclass 151 Former Resident visas, which allow them to remain in the country permanently. 

Advocacy groups have told SBS News that more than 15 families are year are threatened with deportation every year because of one member's disability.

Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John has vowed to introduce a bill to reform the immigration health requirement, which has been widely criticised as a "breach of human rights". 

“These are people who have ‘done the right thing’ and are often in many cases, ready, willing and cannot wait to make incredible contributions to Australia and are being ripped apart by a nonsensical law," he told SBS News earlier this month. 

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