Social Democrats TD for Wicklow, Jennifer Whitmore, has welcomed today’s positive response from the Taoiseach to her call to suspend deportations during the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Whitmore raised the plight of a constituent living in Wicklow who was recently served with a Deportation Order back to his country of origin, which was to take effect before Christmas. She has repeatedly called for a moratorium on deportations for the duration of the pandemic.

The man in question has been in Ireland for many years and has contributed to the community during his time here. He has been with his partner for seven years and has no family remaining in his native country.

Deputy Whitmore said:

“If this Deportation Order goes ahead, it is believed that this individual’s safety will be at risk if he were returned to his country of origin. It is a deep flaw within this country that people are left to build lives and form a life here in Ireland, only to be forced to leave at short notice.

“There are many cases like his where people have established roots within their communities and consider Ireland their home after many years of living here. Because of this, I urged the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice to take a more compassionate view when assessing current and future cases.

“Covid-19 has increased the level of uncertainty for many facing deportation. Because it is Christmas, even more compassion should be shown.

“Most importantly, I believe the Minister for Justice should reconsider using deportation unless it is absolutely necessary while her department is reviewing the Direct Provision and International Protection system, which will feed into a new White Paper policy.

“Until reform of the system is carried out, deportation cases should be reconsidered. It is also important to note that the Government is still considering the findings of the Catherine Day Report, which makes recommendations in relation to allowing individuals to remain in the State if a decision has not been made on their status within a certain timeframe.

“I am delighted that the Taoiseach stated today that he agrees with me that people should not be deported during Covid-19 unless they present a real risk to national security.”

December 9, 2020

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