June the busiest month for deportations so far this year
Asylum seekers more likely to receive deportation orders in August when solicitors on leave, says lawyer
Lucky Khambule from the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland at an anti-racist rally in Dublin in 2016. Mr Khambule says he has noticed a rise in the number of people seeking assistance after receiving a deportation order during August. Photograph: Dave Meehan
June has been the busiest month for deportations from Ireland so far this year with 20 people deported.
In April 2018, 19 people were deported in April and 17 were deported in August. The lowest number of deportations was in February when 10 people were removed from the State.
A total of 117 people have been deported from the State so far this year, according to data released by the Department of Justice.
In 2017, 16 people were deported during August, one of the highest monthly figures in the year. In 2016, 43 people were deported during August, a drop from the 83 people deported in March of that year and 75 deported in January.
An effected deportation is when a person who has been served with a deportation order is removed from the country. The number of effected deportations dropped significantly between 2016 and 2017 – 140 people were deported from the country in 2017, less than a third of the 428 deported the previous year.
The number of deportation orders issued every year is significantly higher than the number of people removed from the country. Some 932 deportation orders were made in 2017 and 1,196 deportation orders were issued in 2016.
While the frequency at which people are removed from the country rises and falls at different points during the year, human rights lawyer Wendy Lyon says the number of letters informing people of deportation peaks during the month of August.
“There’s certainly a perception among practitioners that we do notice this happening more in August,” Ms Lyon said, adding that asylum seekers had just 28 days to challenge the deportation and apply for a judicial review. “It’s not just ourselves on holidays but barristers too who you would need to go to into the High Court. They know it’s much more difficult for us to do anything for our clients at that time of year. The courts aren’t back until October.”
‘Quickly and quietly’
Lucky Khambule from the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland has also noticed a rise in the number of people seeking assistance after receiving a deportation order during August. Mr Khambule said deportations were being carried out more “quickly and quietly” since the introduction of the International Protection Act nearly three years ago and noted “a lack of appetite” from solicitors from the Legal Aid Board once deportation orders are served.
A spokesman from the Department of Justice noted that deportation orders “are not served lightly” and that “the applicant is given every opportunity to make their cases at all stages of the process”.