Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

Noel Ahern

Ceist:

152 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of children born in the past four years to parents either of which had an application pending for asylum status; the number of marriages in the past four years where either of the couple had an application pending for asylum status; and if there is any benefit or advantage to an applicant for asylum if he or she has been married within the State. [10362/00]

The administration of the registration system for births and marriages is a matter for the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages and for local registrars who operate under his general direction. I understand that the details to be recorded in the register of births are set out in legislation and do not include the nationality of the parents or whether they are asylum applicants. Similarly, the information registered in respect of a marriage does not include these details.

I can, however, advise the Deputy that in the period 1996 to March 2000 my Department has granted permission to remain to 1,873 current or former asylum applicants on the basis that they were the parents of children born in Ireland – Irish citizens.

I can further advise the Deputy that in the period 1998 to March, 2000 permission to remain has been granted to 194 current or former asylum applicants on the basis of their marriage to an Irish citizen. Statistics in this regard for years prior to 1998 are not readily available.
In line with the decision of the Supreme Court in the Fajujonu case, subject to the common good, a non-national who marries or becomes the parent of an Irish citizen has a strong claim to be allowed reside in the State with that citizen. Marriage in the State, whether to an Irish citizen or otherwise, and parentage of an Irish child do not confer any benefits in so far as the asylum determination process is concerned.