84% of failed asylum seekers in Ireland not deported, status is unknown

Of the 4,631 deportation orders issued in the last five years, just 314 were enforced by the Irish state

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke

Almost 4,000 failed asylum seekers who have been issued deportation orders in Ireland over the past five years currently have an “unknown status” in the country, the latest figures have revealed.

Following a Freedom of Information request, government data seen by the NewsTalk media outlet showed that 4,631 deportation orders were issued to failed asylum seekers between 2018 and 2022.

Of those, the Office of the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) enforced just 314 orders, or 7 percent, while the Department of Justice provided assistance in 430 other cases (9 percent) for people who voluntarily left Irish territory.

The remaining 84 percent, some 3,887 people, currently have unknown status in the country.

Delving into the figures from last year makes for dim reading, with the Irish state successfully deporting just 26 individuals who had been issued with a deportation order, amounting to 5 percent.

Opposition parties have chastised the government’s recent handling of the asylum crisis enveloping the nation. In 2022, Ireland experienced a record year for asylum cases at 13,651 applications, with Department of Justice figures recording the total as six times higher than in 2021. Immigration into Ireland also hit a 15-year high in 2022.

Opposition leaders were quick to jump on the latest figures as evidence of further, deep-rooted incompetence or unwillingness by political leaders to effectively secure the country’s borders.

President of the Irish Freedom Party Hermann Kelly told Remix News: “For all intents and purposes, Ireland has no border and no immigration policy beyond, ‘Let them all in and let them all stay.’

“It’s quite outrageous rewarding with citizenship those who have entered our country illegally, as Justice Minister McEntee did recently. 

“For the safety and security of our children, it’s imperative that this government is voted out of office and Irish Freedom Party TDs replace them so they can put an end to welfare tourism and rampant criminality caused by this dangerous ‘No Borders, Ireland for All’ nonsense.

“The least the state could do is enforce deportation orders, as the state is happy to enforce court orders against Irish people.

“The necessary State response to this current debacle is a question followed by an action: ‘Here illegally? Deport immediately!'”

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín told NewsTalk: “It is an incredible situation that those who have failed in their asylum application, that the vast majority of those are either still in the country or the government doesn’t know where they are.”

“That there is no process at the airports or at the ferry ports to identify when a person has left the country and, in many ways, the government’s deportation system is a voluntary system. People will be shocked by that.”

“Deportation means that the government issues you with an order but does not follow through in making sure that it is delivered upon,” he added.

The new figures follow the latest statistics showing that 237,000 PPS numbers were allocated to foreign nationals last year by Ireland’s Department of Social Protection. A PPS, or Personal Public Service number, is a unique identifier required before an individual can access social welfare benefits and public services.

The asylum crisis in Ireland also made the headlines last month when government figures revealed that 40 percent of new arrivals at Dublin Airport, who applied for international protection in Ireland last year, had either lost or destroyed their travel documents between taking off and arriving at immigration control, a statistic opposition party leaders called a considerable security risk.

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