Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has intervened into the deportation of an autistic Blacktown girl Sumaya Bhuiyan, who was denied to stay in Australia because of medical grounds. The 16-year-old girl failed immigration medical assessments and was rejected permanent residency visa. But the intervention of the minister has worked wonders on the matter.

Sumaya Bhuiyan has been living in Australia for eight years.  The family applied for permanent residency in Australia but the request was rejected in 2013 with an indication of the girl being deported from Australia. The immigration testing authorities found the Blacktown girl had a “moderate development delay.” Sumaya’s mother GP Nasrin Haque said the immigration authorities believed that the health issue of her daughter might cost Australian taxpayers a significant amount.

It was in January when Haque said that the assistant immigration minister has refused to interfere in the issue as it was “not in the public interest.” However, on Friday, Hawke called the victim’s mother and said that he has decided to intervene now. Haque was supposed to book her tickets out of the nation on the same day but the intervention of the minister stopped her.

Hawke’s Change of Mind 

The change of the mind of Hawke is believed to have resulted following AMA New South Wales President Professor Brad Frankum’s public condemnation of the decision. “The minister has decided to grant Sumaya a permanent resident visa and has begun consideration of permanent resident visas for Dr. Haque and her son, subject to the usual health and character checks,” a spokesman said as quoted by The Guardian.

Frankum praised the backflip and called it the “only humane and decent decision.”“For this girl’s welfare and for the whole family, I think, this is the only outcome that was going to be the right one,” he said. “I lament the fact that it ever got this point but at least the right thing has happened eventually.”

The deportation of the Blacktown girl would have meant Haque and her 14-year-old son Sakir leaving Australia as well. The family would have left for Hungary, where they were still the citizens and Haque’s husband still worked as a doctor. The family belongs to Bangladesh originally.

Section 351 of the Migration Act 1958 gives the assistant minister the right to change immigration decisions. He or she can only do so if it is in the public interest to do so.

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