939. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice if she will halt refusals for leave to land and access to the international protection process for Afghan people. [42799/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): Each person who has been refused leave to land in the State is assessed on their own merits, taking all relevant information into consideration at that time. If at any point during the refusal of leave to land process a person claims asylum or demonstrates that they are in need of protection they will be admitted to the international protection process.
Interpretation facilities are available as required. In all cases, return of persons refused leave to land (who do not make an international protection application) are conducted in accordance with the law, with the vast majority of such returns being made to other EU Member States. Arrangements are made by the Garda National Immigration Bureau to return such persons to their point of embarkation at the earliest opportunity.
My Department is currently reviewing all international protection applications on hand from Afghan nationals with a view to expediting their progress, in line with updated advices provided by UNHCR in recent weeks.