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.