Family in Cork in midst of deportation row told to present themselves to immigration officials

Family in Cork in midst of deportation row told to present themselves to immigration officials
Brothers Zubair is in fifth year, Umair is in transition year and Mutjuba is in second year at Coláiste Éamann Rís School, Cork. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The immigrant family in Cork facing in the midst of a deportation row have been told to present themselves again to immigration officials in just over a week.

News that Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is to review the Khan family case was greeted with joy by the family and its thousands of supporters.

And a planned protest by more than 1,000 school children in front of Cork City Library on Grand Parade was called off.

Had it gone ahead, it would have been embarrassing for Tánaiste Simon Coveney whose Cork South Central constituency is so close by.

But it has now emerged the whole process initiated against the family by immigration officials is still very much underway, and little or nothing has changed.

The Irish Examiner has learned the whole Khan family have to present themselves to officials on January 27.

Aaron Wolf, principal of the Coláiste Éamann Rís where three of the Khan children go to school, said: “The family is still very worried.

This is far from over.

Mubeen Khan, who fled to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan to escape persecution in 1982, moved to Cork with his family of five in 2017.

Because they came into the country via the UK, they face being returned back there.

And today at 2pm, Mubeen and his oldest son Hamza met officials at the National Immigration Bureau in Dublin.

The whole family had been due to attend the meeting but Mr Wolf had refused to give the children a day off from school to attend.

More than five thousand people have signed a petition to block that move.

Mubeen’s three teenage sons have been attending a secondary school in Cork since their arrival in Ireland and living in direct provision.

Zubair, a fifth-year student, Umair, a Transition year student and Mutjuba, a second-year student are studying at Coláiste Éamann Rís in Cork city.

Next month, Zubair (17) is due to attend trials with Cricket Ireland for what he hopes will help him achieve his dream of playing cricket for this country.

His oldest brother, Hamza is a first year Sanctuary Scholar studying computer science at University College Cork under a scholarship scheme for refugees and asylum seekers living in Direct Provision centres.

While Mubeen’s wife Hina Mubeen is also from Pakistan, all their children were born in Saudi Arabia.

The family lived there until after the death of King Abdullah in 2015.

The new king, King Salman and his son Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, introduced crippling new ex-pat tax laws on July 1, 2017.

“I was told by the Tánaiste that the Khan family case would be reviewed by Charlie Flanagan personally,” Mr Wolf said.

“We have been given that commitment by Simon Coveney. But the process is still under way, so our campaign is far from over.”

The Department of Justice said it does not comment on individual cases.

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