Topical Issues Debate

Transcript of statement by Minister of State Dara Murphy on the deportation of Kleber Silva Medeiros

26th October 2016

Deputy Eugene Murphy would like to discuss a campaign to 'Bring Kleber Home' which focuses on the need to revoke a deportation Order in respect of Kleber Silva Medeiros who was unjustly deported after an unfounded and malicious objection to his marriage to a Ballinasloe woman. The marriage has since been recognised by the HSE as genuine and there is a need for an urgent investigation and review of this case in a bid to reunite the couple.

REVISED TEXT - the deportation of an individual whose marriage has been confirmed by the HSE

"I would like to thank Deputy Murphy for raising this issue.

At the outset can I say that it is not the policy of the Department of Justice to comment on the details of decisions reached in individual deportation cases.

However, I can say that in general, there is a perception that marrying an Irish citizen confers an automatic right to reside in the State. This is not the case. Where a person is illegally present in the State, they cannot simply rectify that situation by entering into a marriage with an Irish or other EU citizen or another person lawfully resident in the State.

If the Department was to treat marriages involving persons illegally present in the State in such a fashion, it would have the result that marriage, contracted solely for the purpose of conferring a lawful immigration status, would become an even more attractive proposition with various issues and consequences for the overall integrity of the immigration system.

In that regard, the Civil Registration Amendment Act 2014 provided additional powers to marriage registrars to refuse to accept the validity of proposed marriages. Most of those additional powers relate to the immigration status of one or both of the parties concerned. These measures were taken primarily to combat the problem of sham marriages.

The Tanaiste has a particular concern about sham marriages and she has taken action to combat them in conjunction with the Garda Commissioner, who has established Operation Vantage to investigate such marriages. Operation Vantage has proven very successful in reducing instances of sham marriages in this State.

I should make it clear at this stage that I am not suggesting that the proposed marriage in question in this individual case is a sham marriage. However, the Deputy should note that various immigration decisions which issue from the Department are in many cases not predicated on an assumption that a marriage is a sham marriage.

They instead focus on the fact that the person concerned is in the State illegally and consideration of the case made by the person concerned, as to why they should not be deported, is taken fully into account under the relevant statutory framework. In addition, any claimed rights arising under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and under our Constitution are examined, weighed and balanced against the right of the State to maintain a functioning immigration system.

The outcome of that process is that, in many cases, a Deportation Order is made. Such decisions can be re-examined and subsequently affirmed or the Deportation Order revoked.

It is open to any person who is the subject of a Deportation Order to submit additional information at any time to request a reconsideration of their case. I understand this has been done recently in this case and this material will be fully considered and a further decision will issue in due course.

If the decision is made to revoke the Deportation Order, then this individual, like any other individual in any similar case, would be allowed to return to the State."

 

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Updated: 26 October 2016

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