A figure just short of 4,500 people currently living in Ireland are expected to be kicked out of the country this year, according to new figures from the Department of Justice.
The staggering number is the highest it's been in six years, and includes people being turned away at ‘entry points’, deportations or removals from the country in 2016.
Almost 4,000 people, without correct or current visas and paperwork, have already been told to return to their countries of origin at airports and ferry ports in 2016, a huge increase of 14% from last year.
The current number of people who have either been deported or have removed themselves as a result of a deportation order from the country this year is 371.
In response to parliamentary question from Independent TD Mattie McGrath, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald had this to say on the matter:
It should be noted that the overwhelming majority of persons who arrive at the frontiers of the State without permission to enter or reside here are refused leave to land, without ever reaching the stage where they would be considered under the deportation process. Indeed, this figure has risen substantially to almost 3,500 last year and is expected to exceed 4,000 this year.
Last year in 2015, a grand total of 3,451 people were booted out of Ireland at entry points such as airports and ferry ports and returned to their country of origin.
As well as this, 251 unsuccessful asylum seekers and illegal migrants were deported from the State, 69 EU nationals were returned to their home countries as a result of an EU Removal Order and another 19 asylum seekers were transferred under the Dublin Regulation to the EU country in which they first applied for asylum.
New legislation in the form of the International Protection Act 2015 came into action last year, giving additional powers to An Garda Síochána to enforce orders where persons subject to deportation orders have failed to comply with their legal obligation to remove themselves from the State.
Since the legislation was amended, 33 persons have been forcibly removed from the State by An Garda Síochána out of a total of 193 deportation orders affected since 10 March, 2016.
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald
The cases refer to any person merely seeking entry to Ireland, as opposed to those seeking safety, sanctuary and asylum as a result of the migrant crisis in the Middle East.
As of July of this year, a total number of 38 Syrian refugees have been relocated to Ireland.
(H/T - www.irishexaminer.ie)