Eric’s case is to be re-ex­am­ined by govern­ment

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By MARY FOGARTY

ST CRONAN’S pupil Eric Zhi

Ying Xue (9) does not face an im­mi­nent threat of de­por­ta­tion, Min­is­ter for Health Si­mon Har­ris has con­firmed.

School prin­ci­pal Maeve Tier­ney said that the fam­ily now has a lit­tle bit of time in or­der to pro­vide new in­for­ma­tion for the Min­is­ter for Jus­tice.

‘It’s a pause,’ she said. ‘And that was the first thing that’s needed. We are work­ing very hard with the fam­ily to put a case to­gether.’

Min­is­ter Har­ris was speak­ing on The Last Word on To­day FM re­cently when he said that there would be a re­view of the case. Eric’s mother is from China, and not liv­ing in Ire­land legally. How­ever, Eric has never lived any­where else.

‘I’ve just got some good news very re­cently from the De­part­ment of Jus­tice, which I’ve con­veyed to Eric’s fam­ily, that there is no im­mi­nent threat of de­por­ta­tion,’ Min­is­ter Har­ris told Matt Cooper. ‘That’s all I ever called for, that’s all Eric’s fam­ily ever asked for, was an op­por­tu­nity for a hu­man­i­tar­ian re­view of the case to take place.

‘The idea that a nine-year-old boy who is as much from Wick­low as I am, as much from Ire­land as I am, would be told that he is “go­ing back” to China, a coun­try he had never been to, was sim­ply lu­di­crous.’

More than 50,000 peo­ple had signed a pe­ti­tion ap­peal­ing to Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Char­lie Flana­gan to re­voke the de­por­ta­tion or­der. While the de­part­ment has in­di­cated that pe­ti­tions will have no bear­ing on such cases, Ms Tier­ney be­lieves that with­out the pe­ti­tion and sub­se­quent me­dia at­ten­tion there would not have been a reprieve.

If Eric was de­ported, he would have no ac­cess to China’s health or ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems be­cause he is not a Chi­nese cit­i­zen. Eric’s mother Leena Mei Mei Xue, was 19 when she ar­rived in Ire­land il­le­gally in 2006. She has been ap­peal­ing a de­por­ta­tion or­der for the past three years with the fi­nal ap­peal re­jected in June.

The leg­is­la­tion be­hind this predica­ment dates back to the 27 th amend­ment of the Con­sti­tu­tion Act of 2004. This amended the Con­sti­tu­tion of Ire­land to pro­vide that chil­dren born on the Ire­land to par­ents who were both for­eign na­tion­als would no longer have a con­sti­tu­tional right to Ir­ish cit­i­zen­ship.

Eric Zhi Ying Xue

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