477. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of deportation orders of minors that have been enforced since April 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19935/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): A total of 5 Deportation Orders in respect of minors were effected from the beginning of April, 2014 until the end of April 2015. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department does not issue Deportation Orders to unaccompanied minors.
In enforcing the law in respect of deportations, Ireland is no different to other countries who also remove individuals who have no lawful right to remain within their territory. Ireland, like other EU member states, uses deportation of illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers as the policy of last resort. The process leading to a deportation is extensive with many avenues of appeal, including judicial review in the High Court, open to persons subject to Deportation Orders. It should also be noted that a Deportation Order requires a person to remove themselves from the State and it is only where they fail to do so that the State is forced to remove them and enforce the rule of law.
In order to provide a more complete picture of the situation regarding the removal of non-Irish nationals minors during the period in question, it should be noted that during the same period there were no Removal Orders effected in respect of EU National minors and that 4 Transfer Orders were effected in respect of minors under the Dublin Regulation. Minors are not refused leave to land in the State at ports of entry. However, the parents of accompanied minors can be refused leave to land and the accompanied minors are returned with their parents to the country they arrived from. Unaccompanied minors are surrendered to the care of the Health Service Executive.