Wicklow TD’s call for Minister to reverse decision to deport Bray school boy Eric

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that common sense must prevail in the case of 9 year old Bray native Eric Zhi Ying Mei Xue who is facing deportation to China.

Speaking after raising the issue again with the Justice Minister Teachta Brady said “For over a year now I have been working on this case for Eric and his mum, it’s devastating to think that having spend his entire life in Bray that someone can make a decision to up heave him and send him over 8,000 miles to the other side the earth. Eric was born in Ireland, and has gone through school here, all his friends are here. He is Irish and knows nothing else”.

“I have made numerous appeals to the Justice Minister over the course of the last year for him to revoke the deportation order on humanitarian grounds. It’s fantastic now to see the entire community row in behind the campaign for Eric to stay here in his home, nearly 37,000 people have signed a petition that was launched only a few days ago”.

“Clearly there is something wrong with the system that allows something like this to happen. In 2004 Sinn Féin and I campaigned against the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution which was introduced by the Fianna Fáil–Progressive Democrat coalition and supported by Fine Gael. The change resulted in children born on the island of Ireland to parents who were both foreign nationals no longer had a constitutional right to Irish Citizenship. I opposed that change then because it was inevitable there would be serious repercussions”.

“I have again appealed to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to see common sense here and revoke the deportation and allow Eric to become an Irish citizen and stay in his home with his friends and family.”

Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow, Stephen Donnelly has said that it is entirely unacceptable that a nine year-old boy who has lived in Wicklow his whole life could be deported to China.

Deputy Donnelly was commenting as it emerged that Eric Zhi Ying Xue and his mother, Leena are facing imminent deportation after her last appeal to stay in this country was rejected in June.

“Over the past year, I’ve been working hard with Eric’s mother to stop her family from being plucked out of their home.  I’ve written to the Justice Minister on their behalf and have tried to convince the authorities how cruel it would be to send young Eric to the other end of the world from the only home he has ever known.

“Eric was born and raised here.  He doesn’t speak Chinese and, as far as I’m concerned, he is Irish.  We must remember that he wasn’t born in China he will have no access to their health or education system if he’s sent there.

“Deporting him under these circumstances would be inhumane.  And I’m not alone in this belief; tens of thousands of people have already signed a petition set up by Eric’s school, St Cronan’s.

“Minister Flanagan must show compassion.  Citizenship should be granted to little Eric straight away and his mother should be given permission to reside so she can continue to raise him in the caring and loving environment she has developed in Bray for her son,” concluded Donnelly.

Heath Minister Simon Harris “I have made representations to the Department of Justice and Equality in relation to Eric’s situation. I have appealed for Eric to remain in Ireland on humanitarian grounds. Quite frankly, Eric is Irish. He was born here, goes to school here and has never lived anywhere else. This is his home. This is his country. I really hope common sense can prevail.”

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