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May 6, 2021 (Live Action) – A teenage girl with Down syndrome has been barred from living in New Zealand, as the country has deemed her and others with Down syndrome to be a “burden” on the system.
The 17-year-old, referred to only as “JB” in court documents, is an Indian citizen who arrived in New Zealand with her family in 2016. But while her parents and sister were granted residency in 2017 and then permanent residency in 2019, JB was denied, as she was labeled “not of an acceptable standard of health.”
When JB applied for residency and was denied, her family appealed the decision with the Immigration and Protection Tribunal. But the appeal was denied also, according to court documents released by the tribunal. JB is currently forced to live in India with her father and her grandparents, separated from part of her family.
Her parents told the tribunal that JB is “not on any medication, was leading an active life, and would not be a burden on New Zealand’s health services.” They also assured them that she would not need to be enrolled in the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS), a support program for students with special needs, even though she qualifies for it. JB currently does not speak English and is educated at home, and her family further reassured the tribunal that “[s]he would not be a burden on the taxpayer as she would continue to live within her supportive family unit.”
JB was admitted to have a moderate intellectual disability, but her parents argued that this did not mean she was incapable of leading a productive, healthy life.
“The representative emphasised that Down Syndrome was not a progressive disease but a congenital chromosome disorder,” the court document reads. “[A]nd, given opportunities, Down Syndrome people, such as the appellant, could lead valued and productive lives.”
Yet none of this made a difference to the tribunal. Though her parents said they would not need ORS assistance, the tribunal held it against her anyway, as she would be eligible for funding until she was 21. “[S]he was considered likely to impose significant costs or demands on New Zealand’s special education services and she remained not of an acceptable standard of health,” the document said. “The medical referee also noted that the appellant’s overall thinking and reasoning abilities were below all but 0.1 per cent of children her age and therefore she had an intellectual disability requiring significant support.”
The decision has unsurprisingly angered disability advocates. Zandra Vaccarino, the national executive officer of the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association, criticized the tribunal for holding fast to a negatively-stereotyped perception of Down syndrome.
“People with Down syndrome are contributing members of the community … they work, they own their own businesses, they are involved in their community,” she told Stuff. “We say as a country we embrace diversity … there could be more done to ensure that diversity is actually supported.”
PETITION UPDATE (5/5/2021) - BREAKING: Facebook permanently removes LifeSiteNews’ page
Facebook has just permanently banned LifeSiteNews’ Facebook page. This apparently is not a temporary measure: It is gone for good.
"Much like when LifeSite was removed from YouTube, this comes with little surprise,” noted LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts.
"Facebook has been silencing any voice that goes against their beliefs and agenda," continued Roberts. "Our LifeSiteNews Facebook page has been removed simply because we have shared reports of doctors, nurses, expert researchers, and even the former Pfizer VP speaking out against the COVID shots. We’ve also been tagged for the numerous articles we have shared making the connection between the COVID shots, and really all vaccines, and aborted baby cell lines."
"This all comes down to another case of Big Tech silencing free speech on their platform," she added.
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PETITION UPDATE (2/23/21) -
LifeSite has signed on to a Media Research Center (MRC) letter to all 50 state Attorneys General, calling for an investigation into Big Tech.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter have monopolized the industry, and are using their influence to collect user data, suppress content, and silence those who voice ideas and beliefs counter to their own.
As we urged prior, action must be taken to combat these efforts, and that is why we’ve joined the MRC in this fight.
Please take a couple of minutes to READ this LifeSiteNews article about MRC's initiative: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lifesite-joins-effort-asking-state-attorneys-general-to-investigate-big-tech-for-deceptive-trade-practices
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PETITION UPDATE (2/9/21) -
YouTube just completely removed the LifeSiteNews YouTube channel. This isn’t a ban, every single one of our videos is completely gone. Being completely removed from YouTube means we’ve lost access to 300,000+ followers.
This is the latest and appalling affront to free speech which is happening to many conservative and Christian organizations.
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PETITION UPDATE (1/26/20) -
Twitter has again locked LifeSiteNews out of two of our accounts on the platform for displaying a message noting that President Joe Biden’s newly named Assistant Secretary of Health “Rachel” Levine is a man.
Both accounts displayed a simple message which read: “Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health. ‘Rachel’ Levine is a father of two who divorced his wife in 2013 after 30 years of marriage.” The tweets also included a link to LifeSite’s article Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health, and contained part of the opening sentence of that article, “Joe Biden has announced his intention to appoint a gender-confused man” as Assistant Secretary of Health.
For stating biological or Biblical truths, Twitter and Big Tech are trying to shut down conservative voices.
Therefore, it is now more important than ever to consider dumping Twitter, Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook. To be clear: LifeSite is still using Twitter and Big Tech to encourage others to migrate away from these illiberal platforms.
This is not the first time that LifeSiteNews has been censored by Twitter. In December 2019, Twitter indefinitely suspended our account for a tweet that linked to an article on transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv.
At the time, Twitter gave LifeSite the option to delete the tweet and reactivate our account right away. LifeSite remained steadfast that the tweet did not violate any of the company’s “rules and policies,” and sought several appeals with Twitter, while looking into legal action against the company.
And, while LifeSite's account was eventually restored, we must now consider what course of action we will pursue in this case, over and above appealing the ban.
Meanwhile, since taking office on Wednesday last week, Joe Biden has already signed an executive order which will force women’s athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to be open to men. He has also turned back the Trump administration’s policy protecting women’s sports programs in schools.
Last week, LifeSite was banned for two weeks from our YouTube channel, after the site determined that one of our videos about vaccines violated YouTube’s “community guidelines.” We are also in the middle of appealing this ban.
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Twitter just deplatformed President Trump premanently! And, other conservatives, including General Flynn and Sidney Powell, were also summarily deplatformed.
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Evidence suggests that Twitter and Facebook's 'community guidelines' are selectively enforced against conservatives and Christians, while Google rigs their search algorithms to direct traffic away from conservative and Christian websites, effectively choking traffic to those sites.
Simply put, Twitter, Facebook, Google (who owns YouTube) and Amazon appear to be actively suppressing access to pro-freedom, pro-family and pro-life news and opinion.
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We, here, at LifeSite, also recently had our Twitter account suspended by the company over "misgendering" a man who claims to be a woman.
LifeSite has also experienced a fall-off in Google search-related traffic since the company updated its search algorithms at the beginning of May.
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A British family suffered the same indignity in 2019, when their daughter with Down syndrome was also denied residency, simply because of her disability. Though the girl’s mother was recruited for a prestigious job in New Zealand, she ultimately turned it down and the family moved to Dublin instead, unwilling to split up her family and live in a country with such discriminatory policies.
“It’s complete discrimination. I’ve always told her she isn’t any different but this tears it up,” Nilani told the Daily Mail at the time. “She doesn’t completely understand why we’re not going to New Zealand. They kept telling me she would cost them money to send her to a special school. My tax bill in one month would cover the school fees for the entire year. It just doesn’t make any sense other than it being discriminatory. Bumikka has a moderate disability, but she can talk, walk and dress herself. She only needs supervision and extra help in the classroom. So I don’t understand why they would reject her temporary visa other than being discriminatory.”
Published with permission from Live Action.