Police say Mohammed, Shyroz and Qyzra Walji all died of gunshot wounds in an apparent murder-suicide in London, Ontario, in Canada.
"They were a family that fought the immigration system with passion for a long time. That was it, after 15-years they gave up all hope,” Said Mohamed Walji's sister, Ruby Walji, after attending the funeral service Tuesday in Toronto.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has routinely denied permanent residency in the past to parents with special needs children citing huge cost to healthcare system. Canada’s immigration rules in section 38 do have a clause that states that you are not eligible for immigration if you would make an excessive demand on health and social services.
Qyzra, 21, had cerebral palsy.
However, The Convention on the Rights of Disabled People places obligations on countries to protect disabled people’s rights and freedoms. This includes the right to free movement and residency.
Walji's moved here for Qyzra more than decade ago from Tanzania. There she would have faced discrimination and denied rights to go school. Since, they have been working toward permanent status in the country, but faced obstacles at every turn.
"Whenever something looked good, Immigration would throw in another stumbling block," Anne Robertson, a nurse who worked with the family told London Free Press.
According to Robertson, they were always worried someone would come knocking at their door (to deport them).
Digital Journal learned that the Walji family were also in dire financial situation.
Ruby Walji said she and others would pitch in to help and Qyzra teachers and social workers would often cover extra costs for her needs, but this was not enough for a family with so many needs.
She is angry at her own faith community for not helping.
The Walji family belong to Ismaili Muslim community, an affluent and well-established community all over Canada with a vibrant socioeconomic structure helping those in need in Third World countries and in Canada.
The Ismaili community were aware of the family's hardships and ongoing immigration problems but did nothing to help. “They (the Waljis) were told the (Ismaili community) welfare system cannot support this kind of financial burden,” Ruby Walji said.