474. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice the number of persons currently on the deportation list. [57242/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will be aware, the Minister for Justice can make an order under the Immigration Act 1999, requiring people who are non-nationals to leave the State, commonly known as a deportation order. I can advise the Deputy that prior to a Deportation Order being made, the permission to remain process includes a full consideration of private and family rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights as well as consideration of their work history if any, among other issues. Each case is examined in detail on its individual merits, taking all factors into account.
The principle of non-refoulement applies to these decisions. Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.
The concept of voluntary return is actively encouraged prior to a Deportation Order being made.
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. The request can be made to raise matters which were not considered at the time when the decision to make a DO was taken. I would encourage anyone making such a request to be as detailed as possible in their representations so that fully informed decisions can be taken at the appropriate time. The outcome of such a request will be that the Order is either revoked or affirmed.
The table below provides the number of Deportation Orders (DO’s) issued from 2011 until the end of October 2021.
The low number of deportations in 2021 reflects my decision only to deport persons in very restricted circumstances in the context of the pandemic.