Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will furnish details of costs (details supplied); the breakdown of these costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): The deportation of illegal immigrants and refused asylum seekers is costly, particularly to distant countries such as Nigeria, China, etc. In most cases removals are carried out using commercial flights which usually involves transit through other European airports as Ireland does not have direct flights to most of the countries of return. In addition, most flights have to be booked at short notice very near the date of departure which involves higher costs than if booked well in advance.
In considering the costs of deportations, the considerable expense arising from the continued presence in the State of persons who are the subject of deportation orders has to be taken into account. These costs include social welfare costs, direct provision costs, and detention costs in certain cases. While it is important to keep deportation costs to a minimum, not to remove persons refused permission to remain in the State would call into question the integrity of the entire immigration system. This would leave this country open to further illegal immigration and even more expense to taxpayers.