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Nine-year-old Eric is allowed stay in Ireland after winning deportation case

St Cronan’s Primary School in Bray tweeted out: “Fantastic news for Eric!!”

A YOUNG BOY who had been threatened with deportation has won his case to be allowed to stay in the country.

Eric Zhi Ying Mei Xue, a fourth class pupil in St Cronan’s, Bray, was born in Ireland, but is not a citizen. Despite having never left Ireland, he had been facing deportation to China for over a year.

Following a petition that gathered over 67,000 signatures and representations made on his behalf, including by the Minister for Health Simon Harris, a decision has been made to allow Eric to stay in Ireland. 

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland tweeted out to say that its team “have been working hard on Eric’s case since last year, and we are overjoyed that he can now live his life free of the shadow of deportation and the heavy burden of being undocumented”.

Eric had the support of his school St Cronans, his community in Bray, our caseworkers, local politicians including Minister Simon Harris, plus all the wonderful people across Ireland who signed the petition.

“It shouldn’t take all that to make a child safe in their home.”

St Cronan’s School in Bray tweeted out: “Fantastic news for Eric!! We would like to thank all the supporters of our petition and the Minister for Justice for granting both Eric and his mother leave to remain and live a normal life, safe in Ireland.”

Local Sinn Féin TD John Brady welcomed the news that Eric’s future in Ireland was “secured”. 

I am in no doubt that the threat to Eric’s future in Ireland, the place he was born and in fact, has never left, has been an extremely worrying time for his family. It has been a nightmare for him, for his family and for the community in Bray, and especially all at St Cronan’s Primary School.

“Today is a good day for Eric, for his mother and for all at St. Cronan’s Primary School who sprang into action when the deportation order was first served. They are due huge credit for that.”

A statement from the Department of Justice and Equality read:

“The Minister is unable to comment on individual cases. On a general note however, when an applicant for international protection (an asylum seeker) comes to Ireland they enter a legal process during which all aspects of their case are examined.

“This includes full consideration of Article 8 (family and private life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which are considered in detail, before a decision is made.

“The outcome of the process is either the applicant is granted international protection status/permission to remain in Ireland or that they do not qualify and must leave the State.

“This process is exhaustive with various avenues of appeal open to those who get a negative outcome at first instance. Decisions of the Department are subject to appeal including judicial review in the Superior Courts.

“In 2017, 2,926 applications for international protection were made. All applications are processed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service in accordance with national and international law.”

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