C: Wikimedia Commons

McEntee confirms her Department does not hold data on why people are deported

Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, has confirmed that her Department can only give ‘annual totals’ for all deportation orders made and that consequently she is unable to provide a breakdown of the number of people subject to deportation under any of the 9 grounds set out in legislation governing this area.  

This includes persons whose deportation would, in the opinion of the Minister, be conducive to the common good, as well as any person who has served or is serving a term of imprisonment imposed on him or her by a court in the State.

It also includes persons whose deportation has been recommended by a court in the State before which such person was indicted for or charged with any crime or offence.

The full list of the 9 grounds are laid out in Section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended).

This section states that the Minister for Justice may by order (referred to as “a deportation order”) require any non-national specified in the order to leave the State within such period as may be specified in the order and to remain thereafter out of the State. It goes on to clarify that:

A deportation order may be made in respect of: 

a) a person who has served or is serving a term of imprisonment imposed on him or her by a court in the State,

b) a person whose deportation has been recommended by a court in the State before which such person was indicted for or charged with any crime or offence,

c) a person who has been required to leave the State under Regulation 14 of the European Communities (Aliens) Regulations, 1977 ( S.I. No. 393 of 1977 ),

d) a person to whom Regulation 19 of the European Communities (Right of Residence for Non-Economically Active Persons) Regulations, 1997 ( S.I. No. 57 of 1997 ) applies,

e) a person whose application for asylum has been transferred to a convention country for examination pursuant to section 22 of the Refugee Act, 1996,

f) a person whose application for asylum has been refused by the Minister,

g) a person to whom leave to land in the State has been refused,

h) a person who, in the opinion of the Minister, has contravened a restriction or condition imposed on him or her in respect of landing in or entering into or leave to stay in the State,

i) a person whose deportation would, in the opinion of the Minister, be conducive to the common good.

These provisions are subject to the provisions of section 5 (prohibition of refoulement) of the Refugee Act, 1996.

However, when Minister McEntee was asked by the Independent TD for Laois-Offaly, Carol Nolan, to provide details of the number of deportation orders made under each of grounds a-i of Section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1999, Minister McEntee replied that the figures available to her Department are not broken down into the legislative sub-categories as set out in the Deputy’s question:

“My Department can only give annual totals for all deportation orders made. I can advise the Deputy that since 2011, a total of 13,151 deportation orders have been made by my Department under Section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended).

“When issued with a deportation order, the person concerned is required to remove themselves from the State. Many people comply with this and leave the country, without notifying the immigration authorities that they have done so.

However, where a person does not voluntarily return to their own country, Ireland like all other EU Member States, puts in place arrangements to return people to their home country.”

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