Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to amend the relevant legislation such that children born here since the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution in 2004 and who have consequently been denied citizenship rights no longer face being deported to countries they may have never visited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45146/18]
439. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce the necessary legislative changes in order that children born here to non-Irish parents do not have to live with the threat of deportation to countries they may never have visited or have a connection with and can remain here if they wish to do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45659/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 411 and 439 together.
Entitlement to Irish citizenship is governed by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. The Act distinguishes between the entitlement to citizenship by birth and descent and to the acquisition of citizenship through the naturalisation process. Following a referendum of the Irish people, the 27th amendment to the Constitution changed the situation in relation to entitlement to Irish Citizenship. As a result, Section 6 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 was amended by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2004. The changes came into effect on 1 January 2005. As of that date a person born in the island of Ireland is not entitled to be an Irish citizen, unless that person's parents have been resident in the island of Ireland for a total of three years during the four years preceding that person's birth (periods of unlawful residence, periods of residence which were for the sole purpose of having an application for refugee status determined or periods of residence where permission was granted for the purposes of study are excluded from the determination of periods of reckonable residence).
Where a child born in the State did not at birth have an entitlement to Irish citizenship, the parent or guardian or person who is in loco parentis to the child may lodge an application for naturalisation on behalf of the child if and when the conditions for naturalisation are satisfied, including a requirement to have a total of 5 years residence in the State. This ensures that, even where a child born in the State did not have an entitlement to Irish citizenship, there is a path to obtaining Irish citizenship through naturalisation.
The Government has no plans to amend the relevant legislation at this time.
In determining whether to make a deportation order under the Immigration Act, 1999, I am required to consider a number of factors including the age, duration of residence and the family and domestic circumstances of the individual as well as any connections with the State and humanitarian considerations that arise. This ensures that every individual scenario is evaluated on its merits with proper consideration given to representations made by the person and considering the best interests of the child, where relevant.