Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (312, 313, 314)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

452 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to a deportation order issued to persons (details supplied); if he will consider rescinding the deportation order in this case in view of the circumstances of these persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25104/04]

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

Following examination of the case of the persons concerned, deportation orders were made in respect of them on 28 November 2000. They subsequently applied to take judicial review proceedings against this decision and the proceedings were struck out in the High Court on 31 October 2001. They were informed of this ruling by letter of 2 November 2001. A subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court on 31 July 2003 was struck out with no order as to costs. They were notified of this by letter of 6 October 2004, which also informed them of my intention to proceed with their removal from the State.

However, new information was brought to the attention of my Department during the judicial review proceedings concerning the birth of a child in the State. In light of this new information and the information provided by the Deputy in his question, the case will be re-assessed by my Department and a decision will be conveyed to the persons concerned in due course.

Brendan Howlin

Question:

453 Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the basis on which a person (details supplied) in County Wexford, who is the subject of a deportation order, was arrested and detained in Mountjoy Prison for two weeks; the basis on which this person’s Irish born child was placed in care in Mullingar; the basis on which this person has been told she must leave her rented accommodation and reside in a hostel to be designated by his Department; his views on whether this person has been treated in a fair and humane manner in all respects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25105/04]

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The person concerned entered the State on 4 October 2002 and claimed asylum. Her son was born in the State on 6 November 2002. An interview by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner was scheduled to take place on 19 December 2002. The notification of this interview crossed in the post with an application by the person to withdraw from the asylum process and an application for residency based on the birth of her Irish born child.

Following the decision on 23 January 2003 of the Supreme Court in the case 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 Irish born children ended on 19 February 2003. The Government decided that the separate procedure would not apply to cases which were outstanding on that date.

In accordance with section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999, as amended, the person concerned was informed on 26 February 2004 that the Minister proposed to make a deportation order in respect of her and she was given the following options: to leave the State before the Minister decided whether to make a deportation order in respect of her; to consent to the making of a deportation order in respect of her; or to make written representations, within 15 working days, to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform setting out reasons as to why she should not be deported, that is, why she should be allowed to remain temporarily in the State.

Since the person concerned did not have an alternative legal basis for remaining in the State, the issue of permission to remain was considered only in the context of the ministerial proposal to deport her. After consideration of the range of factors set out in section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999, as amended, the Minister decided to make a deportation order in respect of her. The order was signed on 24 June 2004 and was served on her by registered post on 20 August 2004 requiring her to present herself to the Garda national immigration bureau on 30 August 2004 to make arrangements for her deportation. She failed to present herself to the bureau as required and was classified as an evader. Section 5 of the Immigration Act 1999, as amended, provides for the arrest and detention of a person who fails to comply with any provision of a deportation order such as not making themselves available to and co-operating with the Garda for the purposes of arranging their removal from the State.

On 21 September 2004 she attended the Garda national immigration bureau to make inquiries about her social welfare payments, which had been suspended because of her earlier evasion. She was arrested on the same date and lodged in the Dóchas Centre, Mountjoy, while arrangements were made to remove her to Nigeria. The provisions of section 12 of the Child Care Act 1991 were invoked by the Garda and the child was taken into the care of the South Western Area Health Board and placed with foster parents. The woman subsequently reclaimed asylum on 1 October 2004 and because of this was released from detention. Reporting and residency conditions were placed on her by the Garda under section 9(6) of the Refugee Act 1996, pending determination of her asylum application. One of these conditions is that she resides at accommodation provided by the reception and integration agency in the Dublin area, convenient to the Garda national immigration bureau at 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2, to where she has to report. The deportation order stands suspended, pending the outcome of her asylum application. The facts of the case are clear and I am satisfied this person has been treated in a fair and humane manner in all respects.

Question No. 454 answered with QuestionNo. 447.

John McGuinness

Question:

455 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if a decision in the case will be expedited on humanitarian grounds. [25113/04]

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The person in question arrived in the State on 25 September 2002 and claimed asylum. The Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner recommended that he should not be declared a refugee and he was notified of this recommendation on 27 February 2003. He then appealed this recommendation to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal. Following an oral hearing, the original recommendation was affirmed and he was informed of this decision on 25 September 2003.

In accordance with section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999, as amended, the person concerned was informed on 27 November 2003 that it was proposed to make a deportation order in his case. He was given the options of making representations within 15 working days setting out the reasons as to why he should not be deported, leaving the State voluntarily before an order was made or consenting to the making of a deportation order. Representations were received on behalf of the person concerned on 22 December 2003.

This person's case file must now be considered taking account of section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999, as amended, and section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 — prohibition ofrefoulement. The file will be submitted to me for decision in due course and the person concerned will then be informed of the outcome.