Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

Noel Ahern

Ceist:

160 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of applications for asylum in the past few years; the numbers granted, appealed, granted on appeal, where judicial review was sought and deported; and if he will engage in a public information campaign in relation to services, facilities and entitlements being made in order to dispel the urban myths about payments being made to them. [10351/00]

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following tabular statement:

Year

1997

1998

1999

2000(31/3)

Applications

3,883

4,626

7,724

2,812

Granted – 1st stage

135

113

38

4

Appealed

1,370

1,946

486

12

Granted on appeal

287

107

It should be noted that all the figures outlined relating to decisions refer to the year in which the application was lodged and not to the year in which the decision was made. The number of applicants granted refugee status following appeal in recent years have been as follows: 1998, 40; 1999, 351; 2000, 107 to 31 March 2000.
With regard to the figures for those "granted on appeal", there have been no recommendations from the appeal authorities in respect of substantive cases to date for applicants who applied since 1999. There have been 28 appeals concluded in respect of cases which were manifestly unfounded. Four of these appeals succeeded and 24 were refused.
It should be noted also that each asylum appeal involves a full re-hearing of the case. The applicant is free to introduce information that may not have been disclosed when the original application was made and considered.
Number of applications finally refused who have been deported

Year

1997

1998#

1999#

2000(4/4/00)

No.

5

64

6

13

#No deportations took place in the period December 1998 to October 1999 as a result of legal challenges culminating in the Ministers powers of deportation being found unconstitutional. This was resolved with the implementation of the Immigration Act, 1999, and the regulations made by the Minister thereunder in October 1999.
Number of Judicial Reviews

Year

1997

1998

1999

2000(4/4/00)

No.

3

19

13

40

It should be noted that the number of judicial reviews outlined refers to the number of cases which have been taken and not to the number of individuals who have been covered by these cases.
Information meetings have been arranged and will continue to be arranged by the directorate for asylum support services in the locality where asylum seekers are to be resettled. The meetings provide information to the host communities on all aspects of the asylum process, including provision of services, facilities, entitlements, etc.
The Government also recently decided to establish a reception and integration agency under the aegis of my Department which will take over the functions carried out by the directorate at present and that the agency should have a more enhanced communications and information role.