ALMOST 5,000 people have signed two petitions aimed at preventing the deportation of the Khan family, who sought asylum in Cork more than two years ago and have since made it their home.
Four brothers Hamza, Zubair, Umair and Mutjuba Khan, along with their sister Shazadi and parents Mubeen and Hina Mubeen, are facing deportation later this week from Ireland having been refused international protection in this country.
The Khan family has been living in direct provision since arriving in Ireland from Saudi Arabia in 2017.
However, they were recently told that they are facing deportation later this week.
Hamza said deportation would kill his dream of finishing his education in UCC, where he has a scholarship.
“It would also have a negative impact on my brothers' education and activities they are involved in,” he added.
“My sister is studying hospitality and tourism in the Mayfield Training Centre and my three brothers are in school in Coláiste Éamann Rís.
“Zubair is in fifth year and holds the U17 player of the year award in cricket with the Harlequinn’s Cricket Club,” he added.
“He dreams of playing for Ireland one day.
“My brother Umer is in transition year and Mutjuba is in second year. We are settled in Cork and we are very happy here,” he said.
UCC has joined forces with Coláiste Éamann Rís, the school attended by the four brothers, in a campaign to stop the Khan family being deported this week.
Two petitions, one set up by UCC and the other by Coláiste Éamann Rís principal Aaron Wolfe, had gained almost 5,000 signatures today.
Mr Wolfe said he is concerned that the move to deport the four brothers will have catastrophic consequences for their education and emotional wellbeing.
He said Hamza will lose his scholarship and the three younger brothers will be moved to an unfamiliar education system in the middle of their studies.
The campaign to keep the Khans in Cork is supported by UCC, and the trust body of Coláiste Éamann Rís Cork City, the Edmund Rice Schools Trust, that represents 96 schools nationwide.