709. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Justice the number of persons awaiting deportation on foot of a deportation order; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that such persons have been required to give up work and are residing here in limbo; if she will reconsider the status of such persons due to the Covid-19 crisis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12841/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): In line with the clear commitments both I and the Taoiseach have given, no Deportation Orders are being enforced during the pandemic, except in circumstances where there are national security or serious public policy concerns. My Department has consistently adopted a pragmatic approach in this area in the context of Covid-19.
When a Deportation Order is made and served, the person concerned is legally obliged to remove themselves from the State and to remain outside of the State. Many people comply with this but may not notify the immigration authorities that they have done so. Accordingly, it is not always possible for the Immigration Service or the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to know 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 enforcement of the Order by the GNIB arises.
A detailed consideration of all aspects of a person's case will have been carried out before a decision is made to grant them permission to remain in the State or to make a Deportation Order. This includes a full consideration of their private and family rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights as well as consideration of their work situation, among other issues.
If a Deportation Order is subsequently made, Section 3 (11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) allows an Order to be amended or revoked by making a request to me as Minister for Justice. In making a revocation request a person can raise new or changed circumstances in their case including in relation to their country of origin. I encourage people to be as detailed as possible in their representations to me and my Department so that fully informed decisions can be made at the appropriate time.