Under Freedom of Information request The Burkean can reveal that since 2015, only 18.9% of deportation orders issued have actually been actioned. From figures obtained from the Department of Justice of the 7,496 deportation orders issued by the state between 2015-2020, only 1,420 have been acted upon, with Nigeria and China being the two largest nationalities being deported over the 5 year period.
While Nigerians topped the list of deportees, Pakistani nationals were the largest contingent which deportation orders were issued to with 1,815 orders promulgated by the Department, of which 172 (9.5%) were actually enacted. Since 2015, the Republic witnessed a ten-fold increase in the number of asylum applications from Pakistan, driven by Pakistanis escaping immigration control in the UK.
Interestingly enough, also on the list are Georgians and Albanians, presumably driven by the surge in bogus asylum applications since 2017, when both nations were granted access to the Schengen zone.
Between 2018 and 2020, the State spent €2.2 million on the deportation process, excluding legal fees with the pandemic bringing a halt to operations. Since 2018 the average cost per repatriation has been €3,660 to the taxpayer.
Deportations in the Republic are handled by the Department of Justice’s Repatriation Division in conjunction with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. While the State only actions a fraction of the orders actually issued, there have been incessant attempts to frustrate the process using the excuse of the ongoing pandemic, as typified by an Oireachtas Bill seeking to prohibit deportations entirely during the emergency.
In December, both the Taoiseach and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee clarified a laxing of deportation regulations on account of the crisis, with no repatriations to occur, bar those involving national security.
Whatever the prospects of any Bill to hamper decorations even further, the State is very clearly failing one of its most primary duties to regulate the flow of peoples into its territory. As evidenced by the recent dismantling of the Lithuanian mafia’s control over the heroin trade in Ireland, the ability of authorities to deport individuals undermining public order is and always will be an effective tool of lawmaking.
With Brexit-induced migration, an artificial lurch towards birthright citizenship, as well as a reckless policy towards post-Direct Provision asylum management, we are heading toward an era by which the dereliction of duty to police borders will matter more and more. As indicated by these figures, the State is found wanting when it comes to implementing the most meagre of border security. We may live in hope that an eventual nativist backlash will give our political regime some food for thought.