Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons that hold an outstanding deportation order for timeframes in months (details supplied). [44640/18]
380. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the average length of time for an outstanding deportation order; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44641/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 379 and 380 together.
I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that persons who are liable to deportation are non-EEA nationals who are without an immigration permission to be in the State. This usually follows a failed application for some form of immigration permission, where an application for international protection had been refused or where a person arrived in the State illegally and came to the attention of immigration authorities.
Persons are served with a formal notification of intention to deport, as provided for under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) which sets out the options available to them, namely; to leave the State voluntarily, to consent to a Deportation Order being made or to submit written representations setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made in respect of them.
The Deputy might wish to note that many persons faced with these options choose to return voluntarily to their country of origin. In fact, in the period between 2011 and mid-October 2018, a total of 2,245 people exercised this option and proceeded to return to their home country, some of them with assistance from the International Organisation for Migration. Clearly there was no requirement to make a Deportation Order in any of those cases.
During the same period, a total of 9,197 deportations orders were made. The Deputy might note that such an order is only made after a detailed consideration of the individual circumstances of the case, under a variety of prescribed headings, including family and private life rights, and having regard to the prohibition on refoulement. When a Deportation Order is made and is served, the person concerned is legally obliged to remove themselves from the State and to remain out of the State. Many persons comply with the Order served on them but may not notify the immigration authorities that they have done so. Accordingly, it is not always possible for the INIS or the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to know as to whether or not a Deportation Order has been complied with. It is only when a person served with such an Order fails to remove themselves from the State that the issue of enforced removal arises. During the period between 2011 and October, 2018, a total of 1,857 deportation orders were effected.
The Deputy might wish to note that a Deportation Order, once made and served, remains valid and in place unless and until it is formally revoked. Similarly, a person who is recorded as evading deportation, by dint of their non-compliance with a valid Deportation Order, is liable to arrest and detention to facilitate their deportation from the State.