French family denied residency due to daughter's illness
(PHOTO : David Barlagne emigrated from France in 2005 with his wife, Sophie, and his daughters, Lara and Rachel, who suffers from cerebral palsy.)
Updated: Wed May. 19 2010 7:34:45 PM
The federal court has upheld a decision by Quebec immigration officials to deny a French family permanent residency in Canada because their daughter suffers from cerebral palsy.
David Barlagne emigrated from France in 2005 with his wife, Sophie, and his daughters, Lara and Rachel.
Seven-year-old Rachel suffers from cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that causes motor dysfunction in the body.
Before deciding to leave the French island of Guadeloupe, Barlagne asked a Canadian Embassy official in Paris if his daughter's condition might cause a problem.
Two years after relocating, Citizenship and Immigration Canada rejected the family's application for permanent residency, due to his daughter's health. By law immigration officials can refuse anyone whose condition is considered too big a burden on healthy or social services.
“If i knew we would be at (this) point today, we wouldn't have come here,” he said.
The family's lawyer says the Barlagnes can afford to pay for some of the special therapies Rachel requires, about $5,000 per year, considered by the court to be an excessive demand on the system.
The Barlagnes are appealing to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to let it stay on humanitarian grounds, but his office is already saying it's up to civil servants, not politicians, to make immigration decisions.