Tuesday, 12 April 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
142. Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will further examine the situation regarding the deportation of persons; if he will evaluate each such case directly before deportation orders are signed; if he will reconsider and allow those persons return who have already been deported without proper scrutiny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10423/05]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): In relation to all files submitted to me containing recommendations for deportation, it is plainly necessary for officials to collate and summarise all relevant information and present it in a coherent and consistent format for me to consider. Almost without exception, this involves, first, a summary of all available information on each of the 11 factors in section 3(6) of the 1999 Act and, second, a consideration of the refoulement issues under section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996, as amended, and-or other significant issues relating to the case. A recommendation is then made to me by an officer at a grade not lower than assistant principal. The entire file is then submitted to me for a decision. I have before me both the summary submissions and all relevant supporting papers before deciding whether or not to sign the deportation order.
The procedures described above have been closely followed in each case where a deportation order has been made and the person deported. I cannot accept the inference in the Deputy’s question that persons have been deported without full and proper scrutiny of their cases.
It should also be remembered that where deportation orders are made in regard to asylum seekers, their applications have already been considered and rejected within the independent asylum determination process comprising, the Refugee Applications Commissioner, ORAC, and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, RAT.
The details of the Deputy’s question refers to persons who have been involved in the Irish education system for some time. I ask the Deputy to consider what the consequences would be of a policy not to deport persons involved in the education process and, by implication, their families. I draw attention to the fact that in 2003, of the 7,900 asylum applicants almost 1,100 were accompanied minors between the ages of four and 18. Similarly, in 2004, of the 4,766 asylum applicants, over 700 were accompanied minors between the ages of four and 18.
By adopting a policy of non-deportation in such circumstances, Ireland would be sending out a message to the world that it is assuming an obligation to provide education for those who, having been found not to be in need of international protection, have otherwise no right to be in the State.
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