Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (167)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

166 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the legal options open to persons (details supplied); if the application on the grounds of their child’s birth here will be processed in view of the fact that they made it prior to the Supreme Court judgement; and if not, if they can revert to their original application as asylum seekers. [6507/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

The wife arrived in the State in October 2002 and made an asylum application. Her husband arrived in the State in December 2002 and made his asylum application. Both persons subsequently withdrew their asylum applications and applied for residency on the basis of parentage of an Irish child born in December 2002.

Following the decision of the Supreme Court in the cases of L & O, the separate procedure which then existed to enable persons to apply to reside in the State on the sole basis of parentage of an Irish born child ended on 19 February 2003. The Government decided that the separate procedure would not apply to cases which were outstanding on that date. There are a large number of such cases outstanding at present, including the case to which the Deputy refers.

Since the persons in question do not have an alternative legal basis for remaining in this jurisdiction the issue of permission to remain will be considered, but only in the context of a ministerial proposal to deport them. They have been notified of such proposal on 18 February 2004 and have an opportunity to make representations in this regard. If, in the light of those representations and the range of factors set out in section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999, the Minister decides not to make a deportation order they will be given leave to remain on a humanitarian basis.

Any query by the persons concerned regarding the question of reverting to their original asylum applications should be addressed by them tothe Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner.

Question No. 167 answered with QuestionNo. 150.