Juliana and her mother Nadmea came to Aotearoa from Brazil after eight years of battling with New Zealand’s immigration system. 

Before Juliana moved, as an 19 year old she suddenly fell ill and lost the use of her legs. But she says navigating New Zealand’s immigration process is the hardest battle she has ever fought, “harder than becoming paraplegic.”

“Our immigration laws deem people with disabilities to be 'too expensive' for our economy," she says.

In this episode of Conversations With My Immigrant Parents, Juliana and her mother talk about New Zealand’s flawed immigration system, recovering from sickness and finding love in a new country. 

Conversations With My Immigrant Parents is a podcast/video series where immigrant whānau have conversations they normally wouldn’t, crossing barriers of language, generation, and expectation.

Made possible by the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund.

Watch more from the series:

Judah, Tafara, and Pako: Not your white boy

A Sri Lankan family talks about guilt, obligation, and what freedom really means

A Zimbabwean mum, dad and daughter interrogate colonial tools in New Zealand