Case of deaf teenager denied immigration to Canada discussed in House of Commons

WATCH: A Filipina woman is fighting to bring her daughter to Canada. But so far immigration has denied their application because the young teenager is deaf. Catherine Urquhart reports.

The story of Karen Talosig–a Filipina woman working in B.C. who was recently told by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that her daughter was “medically inadmissable” because she’s deaf–has made it all the way to Ottawa.

Talosig came to Canada seven years ago in search of a better life and to support her daughter back in the Philippines.

She has been trying for five years to bring daughter Jazmine to B.C., but Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) notified her recently that the teenager is considered “medically inadmissible” because she is deaf.

The ruling led to a heated exchange in the House of Commons Tuesday.

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Hedy Fry, The Liberal MP for Vancouver Centre, said:

“The B.C. School for the Deaf says the child is proficient in American Sign Language and it is no more cost to educate her than any other child. So is this the government’s new discriminatory immigration policy? That deaf persons need not apply.

In response, Tory MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship & Immigration Costas Menegakis said:

“It’s shameful that the Liberal member obviously chooses to play politics with immigration cases. It’s exceptionally much worse for them to be asking me about a case where no final decision has yet to be made. Independent and highly-trained officers make decisions based on Canada’s immigration laws.

Talosig has appealed to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. As it stands, if Jazmine is refused, Karen will be forced to leave Canada in August.

petition has been set up to ask Alexander to reverse his decision.