Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Ceisteanna – Questions. Priority Questions. - Deportation Orders.

Thursday, 17 October 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 174 Next Page Last Page

[1099]

 2. Mr. Cuffe Information on Ciaran Cuffe Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  if he will reconsider his decision to deport persons (details supplied) to Nigeria in view of the fact that the two daughters may be at risk of genital mutilation. [18612/02]

Mr. McDowell: Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell I already stated to the House on 9 October that the persons referred to by the Deputy have applied for leave of the High Court to seek judicial review of the decision in their case. In the circumstances, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment in relation to the case until the judicial review proceedings have been determined.

I would, however, draw the Deputy's attention to the reply I gave on the Adjournment debate on 10 October 2002 regarding a separate case of a Nigerian mother and her five children who similarly are facing deportation. The making of a deportation order is a serious matter and is not a decision taken lightly. Deportation orders are made by me in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Act, 1999. That Act requires that, before I make a deportation order in respect of a person, I must consider a range of 11 personal circumstances, including the age of the person, the duration of his or her residence in the State, the family and domestic situation, humanitarian considerations and any representations made by the person or on his or her behalf. In making a deportation order, I consider the case file of the person, including the decision made on any application for refugee status, the requirements of the Immigration Act, 1999, and the prohibition of refoulement as set out in section 5 of the Refugee Act, 1996.

Mr. Cuffe: Information on Ciaran Cuffe Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe Can the Minister explain the delay of approximately three years for this woman's application to be processed during which time she has integrated herself into Irish society to the point where she has taken the leaving certificate? Can he justify this inordinate delay in terms of administering applications? Is he aware that at the 1995 UN Conference on Women we signed the Beijing Platform for Action, which is an agenda of women's human rights? Is he aware that female genital mutilation is widespread within Nigeria, that there is a great deal of disquiet about what might face this woman if she is returned there, that her sister underwent genital mutilation in Nigeria and that this woman is terrified of what might be the outcome of being repatriated? Can the Minister give a breakdown of the successful section 3 submissions based on nationality, as it is a matter of concern, particularly in the case of Nigeria, that the rate of success of these applications is particularly low?

Mr. McDowell: Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell I indicated that I do not propose to discuss the individual case for the reasons I stated and I am sticking to that position. If I did otherwise I would be accused of attempting to influence the courts in the discharge of this [1100] case. The State is well aware of the problem to which the Deputy adverts. This practice is unlawful in Nigeria. It is contrary to the law. It is not condoned by the law of Nigeria or the law of any state in Nigeria. I want to make that point clear. I must consider every case on its merits and I do that. I take careful note of all the facts, those that are in the public domain and those that are not. This case is being dealt with thoroughly and properly.

Mr. Cuffe: Information on Ciaran Cuffe Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe Can the Minister give a breakdown of submissions under section 3 based on nationality, as it is important that we have an overview of the success rate of applications to remain in this country based on nationality?

Mr. McDowell: Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell I can give the Deputy some figures. Non-nationals have been granted leave to remain in this State on the basis of Irish born children, marriages, family reunification or for other reasons under the 1999 Act. Since January 2001, approximately 2,500 Nigerians have been allowed to remain in this State for one or other of those reasons. Of that total, 2,266 have been granted leave to remain on the basis of Irish born children, which represents 90% of the total.


Last Updated: 14/03/2015 05:34:13 First Page Previous Page Page of 174 Next Page Last Page