Last Friday DCU student Mehwish Saqib was issued with a voluntary deportation order giving her five days to leave the country with her husband and three young children.
She told The College View: “About three months ago we updated our leave to remain application and we put all the references from the university and the schools that the children go to and all the stuff we need for our application,
“Last Friday they sent us a letter that we have to voluntarily leave the country in five days otherwise they would send us deportation orders to remove us from the country.”
Saqib and her husband have three young children, an eight-year-old girl in second class, a six-year-old in first class and a three-year-old in creche. The children, despite attending school in Ireland, have also been issued with the deportation order.
“In our decision they told us that your children are in this stage and they can go with you, where you go they have to go with you,” she said.
Saqib, originally from Pakistan, left the country due to fears for her life.
“We had death threats back in our country so that’s why we left about eight years ago,” she said.
“The other thing is that we don’t have any support or anything back in our country, so that’s why we have to fight to stay here.” she said.
Saqib and her family are currently living in the Mosney Direct Provision centre, having lived in the Claremont Direct Provision centre in County Mayo when they first moved to Ireland.
“When we transferred from the first accommodation centre we heard about the sanctuary scholarship that DCU offer so we applied through the CAO and after that they called me in for an interview and they accepted me as a student.” she said.
Saqib expressed that it would mean so much for her to have the deportation order lifted.
“I am from a bad country, I just want to be a teacher… I am making a career for me and for my family and my children.” she said.
According to Saqib, DCUSU have offered her a lot of support in this difficult time.
“They have supported me so much, because of the support I am standing here, otherwise its really really hard to see our children and to imagine them with us.”
“They give me courage,” she said.
Saqib is also working closely alongside her solicitor to stop the deportation order.
“My solicitor sent a letter [to the Department of Justice] to stop the deportation… after that my solicitor launched the appeal in high court to challenge the decision” she said.
Image Credit: Áine O’Boyle