• What is immigration? What is the purpose of it?
  • What is your country’s approach to immigration? Why does it have that view?
  • What are the positives of immigration?
  • What are the negatives?
  • Canada has one of the most welcoming immigration policies in the world. Is this a good or bad thing?
  • Is there any reason why a person should not be allowed to immigrate to a country?


  • MP
  • Down Syndrome
  • contradicted
  • bigoted and discriminatory
  • impairment
  • excessive burden
  • undervalued
  • cognitive ability


Family denied immigration due to Down Syndrome

MP and woman's brother, a Canadian resident, appeal for reconsideration, CBC News

Indian family

A New Democrat MP is demanding the federal government reverse a decision to bar a family from India from emigrating to Canada to join their son in B.C. because their adult daughter has Down Syndrome. The son, Kevin Patel, of Vancouver, wanted to sponsor his parents and 27-year-old sister to come to Canada to become permanent residents. But Immigration Canada rejected the request because it says the sister's condition could pose an excessive burden on Canada's health and social services.

NDP citizenship critic Don Davies says that conclusion is not supported by any facts, and in fact is contradicted by the evidence submitted in this case. Davies told a news conference Friday that the refusal represents a bigoted and discriminatory view that's not in keeping with the modern understanding of people with Down. The sister, Aditi Patel, lives with her parents who care for her, said Patel.

Promise to pay

He said he promised Canadian officials he would cover the costs of any services his sister would require. Barbara Laird, the parent of a daughter with Down Syndrome, also attended the news conference in support of Patel.

"They have huge potential. They have huge intelligence," laird said. "They do things really well, sometimes better than the rest of us. They are extremely undervalued from birth up." Davies is calling on Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to reverse the decision and allow the family to be reunited in Canada.

Down Syndrome is a genetic condition estimated to occur in about one in every 733 births, although is statistically higher among older parents. It is associated with some impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth and a particular set of facial characteristics.

With files from The Canadian Press and the CBC's Renee Filippone


  • What is Kevin Patel’s situation? What does he want and what challenge is he facing?
  • Why did the government of Canada deny his application to sponsor his family?
  • How have Patel and other people reacted to this decision?


  • Do you believe Canada made a good decision in this case?
  • Do you believe people with Down Syndrome are discriminated against?
  • Think about your answer to the last discussion question. Do you believe someone with Down Syndrome should be allowed to immigrate to another country?

Further Discussion

  • How are developmental conditions like Down Syndrome and other mental and physical disabilities viewed in your country? Is it fair?
  • What responsibility does society have to people with disabilities?
  • What limits would you place on immigration? How do you think ilesdt should be controlled?