Number of asylum seekers given leave to stay up by 60%
Figures show an increase in the number of deportation orders being quashed
Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin at Leinster House, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins
The number of asylum seekers being granted leave to remain in the State has increased by more than 60 per cent since last year, while the number of deportation orders being quashed is also up, figures from the Department of Justice show.
The figures indicate that a Government report on reforming the asylum system, published in June but yet to be adopted by Cabinet, is “being implemented informally”, Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said.
The figures show that up to October 26th, 864 people had been granted leave to remain in the State this year - a rate of 86 people a month.
This compares with 633 people (53 a month) in 2014, and 604 people (50 a month) in 2013.
Leave to remain is granted at the discretion of the Minister for Justice, usually on humanitarian grounds, to people who have not been deemed eligible for asylum or subsidiary protection.
The number of deportations rescinded per month is also up, with 239 orders rescinded by October 26th of this year - a rate of 24 per month.
This compares with last year, where 255 orders were rescinded (21 a month) and the 232 orders rescinded in 2013 (19 a month).
Former High Court judge Bryan McMahon, in his report on the asylum process published in June, said the “single most important issue” to be resolved was the length of time people were awaiting decisions on asylum applications.
The report, Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers, recommended that anyone who had been in the system for five years or more be granted leave to remain.
It recommended that anyone with a deportation order, and in the system for five years or more, have their order revoked on condition that they have not been involved in criminal activity or evading deportation.
The McMahon report found that 4,350 people - 55 per cent of the 7,937 people in the asylum process - had been there for more than five years.
Of the total, 21 per cent were children. Nine per cent (718) had deportation orders and 88 per cent of these (632) had been in the system for more than five years.
The increasing rate at which leave to remain was being granted and deportation orders quashed was “a clear indication that the working group report recommendations are being implemented”, said Mr Ó Ríordáin.