Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has called for the Home Office to reverse a decision which has led to a young asylum seeker from north Belfast being denied a university place.
The North Belfast MP said:
“Arezki Yachir came to Belfast in 2014 and has excelled in education – achieving two A* grades and an A grade in his A-level results.
“He has lived here for four years and views the North as home, but upon turning 18 Arezki was refused asylum seeker status, a decision he is now appealing.
“As a consequence, the Home Office have advised the Education Authority against permitting Arezki financial assistance for third level education.
“I have spoken with the family and their solicitor over recent days to offer my support in anyway that I can.
“I have also contacted Queen’s University to ask that they show leadership, and in the absence of financial support from the EA, provide the necessary financial support to allow Arezki to continue along his academic path.
“The decision by the Home Office not to permit asylum seeker status to Arezki is wrong and they must reverse this decision.
“Arzeki and the Yachir family were forced to flee Algeria due to threats on their life – there is an obligation on us all to provide them with the maximum support in their new home.”