Sunday 15 December 2019

Number of illegals deported up 70pc in past year

Deportations from Ireland rose by 70pc in the past year. Stock Image
Deportations from Ireland rose by 70pc in the past year. Stock Image
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Deportations from Ireland rose by 70pc in the past year after the Government introduced a new law making it easier for authorities to expel people here illegally.

Some 425 people were deported up to December 7, Department of Justice data obtained by the Irish Independent revealed. This compared with just 251 deportations in 2015 and 111 in 2014.

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Officials said the increase was due in part to changes under the International Protection Act last March.

These allow an immigration officer or a garda to arrest, detain and deport someone who has ignored a deportation order without needing a warrant.

The legislation was brought in by Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald amid concern over a sizeable number of illegals ignoring deportation orders.

Of those deported during 2016, some 178 were returned to Nigeria, 59 to China, 16 to Ghana, 14 to Brazil, 13 to Albania and 13 to South Africa.

The deportations included a Jordanian national who had been living here since 2000 but had suspected involvement in providing logistics support for Isil fighters.

The man, who was an associate of Irish-born Isil suicide bomber Khalid Kelly, was deported in July after failing to convince a court that he was at risk of torture in his home country.

He was suspected of being the main Irish-based facilitator and recruiter of Isil fighters, but was never charged with any terror offences here.

The Irish Independent understands the man, who cannot be named by order of the High Court, was detained for a period on his return to Jordan.

Following his deportation, Ms Fitzgerald said she would "make no apology" for expelling suspected extremists in situations where it was not possible to bring criminal prosecutions against them here.

The State is also seeking to deport a north African man over alleged links to Islamic terrorism.

Last July, it emerged an Iranian refugee living in Ireland for the past 25 years had been refused citizenship amid concerns over "national security".

The man failed in a High Court bid to have the decision reviewed and for him to be supplied with an outline of a "secret report" which was considered by Ms Fitzgerald. The decision means he could face deportation in future.

A department spokesman also said many other illegals had voluntarily removed themselves before deportation orders were made, while others left when orders were made, rather than being forcibly removed.

Irish Independent

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