Charlie Flanagan says every immigration case is "fully considered"

There's no plans to change citizenship laws for children born in Ireland to foreign parents.

Minister Charlie Flanagan says the current rules that someone born here to foreign parents doesn't get automatic citizenship were approved by the majority of people in a 2004 referendum.

It follows the case of a nine-year-old from Co Wicklow who faces deportation to China after being born and raised here.

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for the deportation order against Eric Zhi Ying Xue to be revoked, while Health Minister Simon Harris has also intervened in support of Eric.

Nine-year-old Eric Zhi Ying Xue. Image:

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says the Government won't be taking another look at the laws around deportation orders.

He said: "I see no plans at present... to revist the 26th Amendment [to the Consitution], which was passed by an overwhelming majority of the people back in 2004.

"The changes made to the legislation after the referendum... were put through the Dáil and Seanad at the time. What they did do was bring Ireland into line with many, and indeed the vast majority of states, across the European Union."

However, Minister Flanagan insisted the vast majority of people who apply for citizenship are granted it.

He said: "Looking at the numbers going back over the next five years, there have been 134 deportation orders enforced against minors or young people since 2013 - that contrasts with almost 20,000 minors being granted Irish citizenship in that same period of time."

"I can tell you, without entering into the detail of any case, that every case is fully considered - and that will continue to be the case."