Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (333)

Gay Mitchell

Ceist:

409 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has satisfied himself that it is in keeping with humanitarian norms to return a person (details supplied) to Angola; and if he can assure Dáil Éireann that this person can return there safely. [3643/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

The person concerned, an Angolan, entered the State on 10 January 2001 and claimed asylum. The Refugee Applications Commissioner recommended that his claim be refused and he was informed of this recommendation on 4 July 2001. He appealed this recommendation on 23 July 2001. The Refugee Appeals Tribunal affirmed the recommendation and he was informed of this decision on 16 November 2001.

In accordance with section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999, he was informed on 30 November 2001 that it was proposed to make a deportation order in respect of him and was given the following options: to make written representations within 15 working days to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform setting out reasons why he should be allowed to remain in the State, to voluntarily leave the State or to consent to deportation. An application for leave to remain was received from the person's legal representatives on 28 December 2001. On 19 June 2002, he was notified that his application for leave to remain was being given consideration.

Following examination of his case under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 and section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 a deportation order in respect of the person was signed on 17 September 2003.Refoulement was not found to be an issue in this case and, in this context, consideration was given to the major improvement in the situation in Angola since the ceasefire there in April 2002. The most recent UNHCR position paper of January 2004 advises that the overall position continues to improve in Angola and that large numbers of former refugees are voluntarily returning there.

The effecting of the deportation order in this case is a matter for the Garda national immigration bureau.