A three-year-old facing deportation to China would be deprived of education and health services if sent home because she was born outside the nation's one-child policy, a Perth court was told yesterday.
Liting Zhong was born in Australia in 2008 while her Chinese parents, who came here on tourist visas, were in a battle to gain protection visas.
Her mother gave tearful evidence via an interpreter to the Refugee Review Tribunal about how she would not be able to afford a "social compensation fee" for her daughter to get access to health and education services in China, resulting in discrimination amounting to persecution.
Zheng Chun Yun had said she and her husband had already paid a social compensation fee, issued to parents over "unauthorised" births, for her first child - a boy who was born before the pair married and who is in China with his grandmother.
Yesterday in the Federal Magistrate's Court, barrister John Cameron argued for a review of the tribunal's decision, submitting that a jurisdictional error had left the child without appropriate representation.
Mr Cameron argued that a migration agent had not adequately distinguished the girl's case from her mother's, and that the mother, who spoke little or no English, had a "conflict" with her daughter's case.
The specific issue of whether the mother would choose to pay the fee if she was capable had not been properly canvassed, Mr Cameron said.