Wicklow school appeals to stop deportation of nine-year-old student
A Wicklow school has launched an appeal to stop the deportation of a nine-year-old student.
Eric Zhi Ying Xue, a fourth class student, was born in Ireland but is not an Irish citizen.
He is at risk of being deported to China, his mother's place of birth, despite not being a Chinese citizen.
Eric's school, St Cronan's in Bray, has launched an online petition to revoke the nine-year-old's deportation order.
Writing on the Change.org petition, they said:
"We in St. Cronan's School appeal to the Minister for Justice, Mr. Charlie Flanagan, to revoke the deportation order made in respect of Eric Zhi Ying Xue.
"Eric is a 9 year old boy in 4th Class in St. Cronan’s BNS Bray, who was born in Ireland but is not an Irish citizen and has never been out of the country."
They added that if Eric is deported to China, he will have no access to China's health care or education system because he is not a Chinese citizen.
Eric's mother, Leena Mei Mei Xue, moved to Ireland 12 years ago. A deportation order was served to her in 2015, with her final appeal being rejected in June of this year.
St Cronan's principal Maeve Tierney told RTE News why the the school had launched the petition.
"He has never left this country. His entire network of friends is here," she said.
The online petition has already received over 16,500 signatures.