The deportation order of Dublin City University (DCU) student Shepherd Machaya has been extended until March 21, as proceedings continue with the Department of Justice.
The six week extension follows a report submitted by Machaya’s solicitor to the Department of Justice, which is currently under consideration.
Machaya, who studies Management of Information Technology and Information Systems, was originally issued a deportation order in September, which was extended until February 5 following an extensive campaign by Dublin City University Students’ Union (DCUSU).
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) supported the #SaveOurShepherd campaign, which saw over 80 students protest outside the Department of Justice and Equality in October, with an online petition condemning Machaya’s deportation attracting more than 14,000 signatures.
Speaking to Trinity News, USI President Síona Cahill stated: “We welcome news of the extension, but we cannot condone the way he is being treated as a student, and quite simply – as a person.”
“It is unacceptable that students admitted under a University of Sanctuary programme would have a deportation order of this nature hanging precariously over their heads,” Cahill continued. “The Minister needs to look urgently at the programme to ensure clarity that this cannot happen again, as well as revoking this particular deportation order.”
According to the Change.org petition, deportation would subject Machaya, who is originally from Zimbabwe, to the “threat of torture from local ‘political’ groups, the very people who drove him out of the country nine years ago”.
Machaya’s studies have been facilitated by DCU’s status as a University of Sanctuary. DCU was the first Irish university to receive the status since its designation in 2016. DCU has provided academic scholarships to 15 asylum seekers or refugees who are living in Ireland under the direct provision system.