Family at wits end as disabled son faces deportation

Rusiate Mataika

A Fijian family in New Zealand has taken to fundraising in an attempt to keep their 20-year-old intellectually handicapped son with them in West Auckland.

“Immigration New Zealand are saying that they will deport him at the end of this month, and are encouraging us to take Sagar back to Fiji,” the young man’s father, Lalit Narayan said.

“But I have nobody over there to look after him and Fiji does not have any organisation to look after him. I don’t know where Immigration is even going to put him – put him on the road, where are they going to put him?”

Application declined

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Director for Operations, Peter Elms told Fiji Sun: “Mr Narayan has been unlawful in New Zealand since January last year and has been given until October 27 to make arrangements to leave the country.

“Although Sagar has been granted temporary visas, a subsequent application for residence under the dependent child category was declined by Immigration New Zealand on health grounds,” Mr Elms said.

Mr Narayan said that he was always careful to follow correct visa procedures since they migrated to New Zealand in 2008.

“They (INZ) are saying it is about funding and education– we need $16,000 per year to keep Sagar here,” he said.

Fundraising through Web

The Narayan family is currently seeking donations for Sagar so he can stay in New Zealand with his loved ones. They have set up a Givealittle page if you would to like to show your support and help him stay with his family.

Givealittle is a fundraising website facility for those desiring to raise funds for a worthy cause specifically for New Zealanders.

Mr Sagar said that the family feared for Sagar’s safety as he required constant supervision.

“Immigration New Zealand are saying that they will deport him at the end of this month, and are encouraging us to take Sagar back to Fiji,” Mr Narayan said.

Poor mental capacity

Mr Narayan, who is a caretaker by profession, said that his son had the mental capacity of a six-year-old and did not understand English.

“Sagar has a seriously mental disability – he understands some things in Hindi but English he does not understand. He knows only his mum and dad, brothers and sisters. That’s all.”

Sagar has been living with his family in New Zealand for around eight years – the plans for his deportation came as an unexpected shock.

“In 2008, I came to New Zealand with my family. My little one, Sagar was in Fiji with my mum and dad. My parents passed away and my sister was also looking after him, [but] she was not feeling well and could no longer look after him.

“I brought him back to New Zealand. Now, after eight years, they are saying that they do not have enough money to look after him,” Mr Narayan said.

But Mr Elms also told New Zealand’s Newshub that the reason for deportation was because the New Zealand government could not afford Sagar’s special needs education.

“These cases are incredibly sad. But the reality is the New Zealand health system has limited funds and it’s time for the family to make a decision to go home,” he said.

But Mr Narayan said that INZ had been taking their time and suddenly wanted Sagar deported.

“They have been taking their time. Now that he is 20-years-old, they want to deport him to Fiji,” he said.

Lawyer’s confirmation

The family’s lawyer, Alastair McClymont confirmed that while Sagar’s immediate family are all New Zealand residents or citizens, Sagar’s visa application was rejected.

Mr McClymont, founder of New Zealand specialist immigration law firm, McClymont and Associates said that INZ have notified the family of deportation of Sagar by the end of the month.

“That’s the deadline they gave,” he said.

“He was on a student visa for several years in New Zealand at a special needs school and then they decided, no we are not going to give him student visas anymore because it would cost the New Zealand Government too much for his schooling.”

Mr McClymont also asked a disability centre in Fiji if they could help care for Sagar. They replied with a letter “basically saying that they did not have enough facilities to care for him in Fiji if he came back.”

Financial constraints

The lawyer said while the Narayans could review the deportation case in court, they did not have the financial ability to do so.

“They could possibly review this in a court in New Zealand but it’s a very expensive process and they are a family that do not have access to a lot of funds,” Mr McClymont said.

“The family came here under a Pacific Access Category around 10 years ago… so they do not have the financial ability to fund expensive high court reviews.”

The article, which appeared in Fiji Sun issue dated October 12, 2017 has been reproduced here under a Special Agreement between Indian Newslink and Fiji Sun.

Photo Caption:

Sagar Narayan

(Picture by Fiji Sun)

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