The Immigration Department intends to deport a nine-year-old autistic boy, in order to save the money that would be spent on his medical treatment.

Nine-year-old Tyrone Sevilla and his mother, clinical nurse Ma Cecilia “Maria” Sevilla, are likely to be forced to leave their home in Townsville due to the ruling.

Mrs Sevilla moved to Australia in 2007 to study nursing and make a better life for herself and her then two-year-old son. But six months later, Tyrone was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Despite the added difficulty of bringing up a son with this disability as a single mother, Mrs Sevilla completed her studies at TAFE and university, and rising to a clinical nursing position at Townsville Hospital.

This year, she applied for a 489 skilled visa, but the application has been refused because her son did not meet the health requirement enshrined in Australia’s Migration Act.

Mrs Sevilla said that “the idea that he can’t contribute because of his condition is just wrong. People with autism can be excellent at a whole range of things, he just needs to be given a chance!”

Mrs Sevilla described Tyrone as a “cheeky, happy little boy” who had up and down days, but he didn’t need special medication or attention from doctors. She said he can read and ride a bike, and he attends special school in Townsville.


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