Photo credit: Laura Celmiņa, Ārlietu ministrija

Huge drop in criminal deportations since McEntee took office

The number of foreign criminals deported for “serious criminal convictions” has reduced dramatically since Helen McEntee became Justice Minister, Gript can reveal.

The figures were obtained as part of a Parliamentary Question submitted by Aontú leader Peadar Toibín TD, who quizzed the Justice Department on how many criminal deportations there have been over the past ten years.

The Department returned figures showing that in the past 10 years, 1,012 non-EU citizens have had deportation orders enforced, with a high of 273 in 2012.

“All those removed or deported during this period would have breached the Immigration Act or had more serious criminal convictions,” the Department said in its reply.

In 2019, the year before McEntee took office, there were 155 deportations of non-EU criminals.

However, the following year when she became Justice Minister, there were only 59.

The year after that, in 2021, only 5 non-EU criminals were deported – a 96% reduction from 2019 levels.

Similarly, for criminal EU citizens, deportations halved under McEntee’s tenure, dropping from 64 in 2019, to 32 in 2020, and 36 in 2021.

Moreover, it appears as though the vast majority of deportations in 2020 happened before McEntee took office.

The Minister previously stated that in the 9 months between March 2020 and December 2020, there were only 4 deportations in Ireland, three of which were a result of Deportation Orders issued before March.

McEntee was appointed as Justice Minister in June of that year.

In other words, the vast majority of deportations in 2020 seem to have occurred before McEntee became Minister. McEntee previously called this policy of low deportation numbers a “pragmatic and compassionate approach.”

Gript recently published a video highlighting the issue of Irish authorities asking criminals to “remove themselves from the state” and self-deport after being convicted of a crime, without exit checks to confirm whether or not they complied. That video can be viewed below.

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