Press Centre

Provision of summary deportation will trample on civil rights

PRESS Release: 5 October 2010

National Coalition to Demonstrate Its Opposition to Immigration Bill Introduced by Minister Ahern

A coalition of seven national and regional organisations will deliver a joint statement outside the Dáil on Wednesday morning to demand changes to the current Immigration Bill being introduced by Minister for Justice, and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, T.D.

The main objection to the new Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010, scheduled for Dáil debate tomorrow (Wed 6 Oct), is a provision which allows for summary deportation of migrants and those in need of protection, without access to a fair hearing.  Current procedures regarding deportation provide an individual fifteen days to make representations to the Minister as to why s/he should be allowed to remain in the State.  The new Bill would take away this basic provision.

At the event, the Directors/CEOs of each organisation will jointly present a letter to Minister Ahern and to each party’s spokesperson on immigration, calling on them to eliminate the provision of summary deportation.   The coalition is also seeking the establishment of an independent appeals body which would ensure that immigration procedures are carried out in a fair, transparent and efficient manner.

The following is a Joint Statement from the Directors/CEOs of each organisation:

Conor Hickey, Crosscare Migrant Project

Karen McHugh, Doras Luimní

Denise Charlton, Immigrant Council of Ireland

Sue Conlan, Irish Refugee Council

Siobhan O’Donoghue, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland

Josephine Ahern, The Integration Centre

Fiona Finn, NASC: The Irish Immigrant Support Centre

“Costly court challenges will inevitably follow Government moves to allow for summary deportation of migrants and those in need of protection in the proposed new immigration legislation.  Allowing for summary deportations is also contrary to 2008 Supreme Court Rulings and ignores a recommendation from the UN Human Rights Committee which urged Ireland to outlaw summary deportations, as they are contrary to international law.”

“In Ireland we value fairness, transparency and due process. The Immigration Bill in its current form goes against these basic principles.  By allowing summary deportation, the Bill denies minimum safeguards and tramples on an individual’s civil and fundamental rights.”

“We think the Irish public would be shocked to learn the unchecked powers that the Bill gives the Minister and the Gardaí.  We know from our past the danger of giving too much power to any one group or person.  Ireland’s historic practice of deporting people from this country in times of crisis cannot be allowed to happen again.   We will not stand idly by and watch this draconian measure become law.”

“The introduction of summary deportation without access to a fair hearing is a draconian measure which undermines the fundamental principles of constitutional justice. It belies the principles of justice and equality which are inherent in a democratic society”.

Event:

Where:  Entrance to the Dáil, Kildare St., Dublin 2

When:   10:30 am, Wednesday 6Oct

END