10,000-plus could be evading orders to leave the state
2019-02-01 00:00:00 -
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By Chinedu Onyejelem

 

A total of 129 non-Irish nationals have been ordered to leave Ireland in the first 29 days of 2019.

 

But the whereabouts of about 10,000 immigrants who were previously told to leave since 2008 is unknown, Metro Éireann can reveal.

 

According to the Department of Justice figures, a total of 12,582 deportation orders were signed from 2008 to 2018 inclusive.

 

However, Metro Éireann has learned that only about 21 per cent of these deportees (2,731) are known to have left the country.

 

In a statement, Justice said the discrepancy at least partly down to deportees failing to inform immigration officials of their voluntary removal on foot of such orders.

 

“When a deportation order is made and served, the person concerned is legally obliged to remove themselves from the State. Many persons comply with the order served on them but may not notify the immigration authorities that they have done so.

 

“Therefore it is not always possible to know as to whether or not a deportation order has been complied with. Only when someone fails to remove themselves from the State does the issue of forced removal or deportation arise.”

 

Justice added: “Accurate figures on the numbers evading deportation are not available. As explained above, some people who have evaded the presenting requirements of a deportation order may actually at some stage have left the State of their own accord without notifying the immigration authorities.”

 

It is believed that the whereabouts of thousands of other immigrants who were ordered to leave the State between 2000 and 2008 are also not known.

 

In a recent Dáil question, Fine Gael TD for Kildare North Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice if a 14-year-old deportation order served on an immigrant he was representing “can be set aside on the basis of the information provided and not enforced in the interim”.

 

In his response, Minister Charlie Flanagan TD told his Fine Gael colleague that “all relevant aspects of the case will be considered before a decision is made.

 

“The deputy might wish to note that the decision to ensue from the consideration of this request will be to have the existing deportation order ‘affirmed’ or ‘revoked’. Once such a decision has been made, this decision will be notified in writing. In the meantime, the deportation order remains valid and in place. 

 

“The person concerned was required to ‘present’ at the Offices of the Garda National Immigration Bureau on 7 April 2005 to make arrangements for his deportation from the State. The person concerned failed to ‘present’ on that occasion and is therefore recorded as a person who is evading deportation,” he added.

  

  

TAGS : Immigration deportation Ireland non-Irish.
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