BREAKING NEWS: Christmas comes early as schoolboy Eric wins right to stay here
The Irish-born schoolboy Eric Zhi Ying Xue who attends St Cronan’s Primary School in Bray has won his case to stay in the country.
Eric, who is in fifth class now, was facing deportation to China even though he was born and has lived all his life here.
More than 65,000 people had put their name to a petition this time last year asking for him to be allowed stay.
“I’m getting in contact with fantastic news,” an email from Principal of St Cronan’s Maeve Tierney said.
“Eric is safe from deportation and his future in Ireland is assured. What an amazing Christmas present for him! Thank you so much for helping to change a small boy’s life.
“Since we started this petition, we’ve learned that there are children and families just like Eric all across Ireland. We need your help to make sure that ALL undocumented children and young people know they are safe in Ireland.
“From Eric’s friends, teachers and all at St Cronan’s, thank you.”
In the last few days his mother, Leena Mei Mei Xue, received notice that she and her son have been granted leave to remain.
Eric was born in Holles Street and has never been outside the country, but is not entitled to Irish citizenship due to a 2004 law change.
He has been threatened with deportation to China along with his mother, who came to Ireland illegally 13 years ago.
Eric’s situation arose due to a 2004 referendum that ended the automatic right of babies born in Ireland to claim citizenship.
At the time, the government said the law had to be tightened to stop women travelling to Ireland to exploit a legal loophole which entitled their Irish-born children to an EU passport.
Staff at St Cronan’s National School in Bray, County Wicklow, raised concerns that Eric would have “no access to China’s health or education systems because he is not a Chinese citizen”.