Criminal Deportations Plummet Under Ireland’s Amnesty-Giving Justice Minister

(L-R) European Parliament Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar
PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images

The number of foreign criminals deported in Ireland has collapsed under Ireland’s most recent Justice Minister, who recently launched an amnesty program to ‘regularise’ illegal immigrants.

Minister of Justice Helen McEntee of the ruling Europhile Fine Gael party has seen the deportation of criminal aliens from Ireland plummet under her tenure, according to figures recently released by the Irish Department of Justice.

According to the data, 634 criminals with EU citizenship and 1,012 who do not have been forcibly removed from the Irish state since 2012, with a notable drop-off occurring since Minister McEntee took office.

A report into the data published by Gript Media notes that the number of non-EU criminals deported under McEntee’s fell dramatically when compared to previous years, with 155 being deported in 2019 — the year before McEntee took office — compared to a measly five under her leadership of the department in 2021.

Furthermore, the publication’s report notes that the vast majority of 2020’s deportations also happened before McEntee took office in June, with the publication claiming that only four deportations took place between March 2020 and December 2020, with three of those deportations reportedly being as a result of orders issued before McEntee’s time in office.

The Justice Minister had reportedly previously described the drop-off of deportations as a “pragmatic and compassionate approach”.

In Ireland, many who are issued deportation orders are often reportedly expected to “self-deport” after being convicted of a crime, with government officials sometimes not being able to verify whether a person has complied due to a lack of record-keeping.

“When a deportation order is issued, the obligation is on the person to remove himself or herself from the State,” Michael Kirrane told a parliament committee in his capacity as director of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service in 2018.

“Many people voluntarily remove themselves,” he went on to claim. “We cannot be precise about how many do because we do not have exit checks and we maintain the common travel area with our UK colleagues.”

As Ireland sees the level of deportations of foreign criminals plummet, McEntee has launched an amnesty regime for illegal aliens residing in Ireland, which will see many residing in the country illegally put on the pathway to citizenship.

According to the government, the scheme — which has been previously described as “utterly outrageous” — will even allow those with a criminal past to avail of the scheme, with officials emphasising that a criminal record will not automatically disqualify someone from availing of the amnesty.

This is despite the scheme reportedly requiring the applicant to be of “good character”.

There is also to be no hard cap on the number of illegal migrants who can avail of the scheme, despite the fact questions have been raised suggesting that the government doesn’t actually know how many illegal immigrants reside in Ireland.

Meanwhile, British think-tank Migration Watch has warned that the amnesty will open a “back door to the UK” by allowing many illegal aliens to gain Irish citizenship and, by extension, access to the UK through the Common Travel Area.

“This is a very serious mistake. Amnesties have been tried before by most of the major countries in Europe and, on every occasion, have made a bad situation worse,” said Migration Watch UK chairman Alp Mehmet.

“Given the present free movement [migration regime] with Ireland, [the scheme] will open an eventual back door to the UK for those who have lived illegally in Ireland for years,” Mehmet also noted.


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