Mehwish Saquib, a student at Dublin City University (DCU) has stated on Twitter that she has this morning received a deportation order from the Department of Justice . Saquib described the news as “devastating…for me and my family”.
Saqib is a third year student at DCU, where she studies Early Childhood Education. She was accepted to study at DCU under the University of Sanctuary scholarship scheme. She currently lives in direct provision with her husband and their three children, having fled Pakistan eight years ago.
Dublin City University Students’ Union (DCUSU) have campaigned against Saquib’s deportation, including starting a petition that has since gained over 7,600 signatures. DCUSU received support in their campaign from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
In a statement upon launching the petition, DCUSU wrote: “Like all students, [Saqib] should be afforded the right to complete the studies she has thrived in thus far. Despite her challenging living circumstances in direct provision, she has overcome great odds to advance academically. She has contributed so much to this country and has aspirations of continuing to do so, passing her first two years in DCU with flying colours and dreaming of a career in Early Childhood Education.”
DCUSU described the news today as “terrible” and called on Minister of Justice Charlie Flanaga to “revoke this deportation order and allow Mehwish to complete her studies”.
DCUSU’s petition states that should Saquib be deported she would be likely to face death threats “from the people who drove her out” of Pakistan, and that she “will not be safe”.
A similar campaign took place in DCU last year, calling for a stop to the deportation of Shepherd Machaya, a Management of Information Technology and Information Systems student. Machaya’s deportation order was extended for several months following the #SaveOurShepherd campaign.
DCU is one of six Irish higher education institutions to offer scholarships to refugees and asylum seekers as part of the Universities of Sanctuary movement.
Trinity does not currently hold the “University of Sanctuary” status but last year did approve funding for four scholships to be made available to refugees.