“Victory!” Australia grants immigrant family with deaf son permanent residency

The Guardian reported that a family of four from Bhutan with a deaf son who was facing deportation from Australia has been granted permanent residency.

The deaf son is Kinley Wangchuck (18). In March, the country’s immigration authorities said the family couldn’t get permanent residency visas because the deaf son’s disability was permanent and would cost taxpayer money.

There was pushback with a change.org petition with over 51,000 signatures to support the family.

A senator who uses a wheelchair, Jordon Steele-John, said the decision to deport the family was a disgrace. There was a lot of advocacy.

After a few weeks, Australia’s immigration minister, David Coleman decided to grant the family permanent residency.

The mother, Jangchu Pelden, told The Guardian that she just found out about this on Friday and that they all are so happy to be out of this stress. She said she couldn’t believe it and thought it was a scam at first.

The Guardian explained that the family have lived and worked in Australia since 2012 and that the deaf son grew up without a language but after moving, learned Australian Sign Language (Auslan).

The person who started the petition, David Randall, who is a retired teacher for deaf children, posted an update with the headline, “Victory!” He said the family are eternally grateful for the support they have been given.

Senator Steele-John tweeted that it was incredible news, but said laws needed to be changed.

[@Jordonsteele: “This is absolutely incredible news for the Wangchuck family. It’s time to change this law - will @AustralianLabor & @LiberalAus commit to making sure this situation never happens again? #AusPol#AusVotes.”]

So, this is a happy ending for this family. The mother works in childcare and the father works in aged care. They have a hearing son, who is 17.