People granted asylum who commit crime should be deported – Fianna Fáil senator

People Granted Asylum Who Commit Crime Should Be Deported – Fianna Fáil Senator
Lisa Chambers said there is ‘nothing stopping us’ from deporting a person who commits a crime in the state. Photo: PA
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Asylum seekers and people granted refugee status in Ireland who commit a crime should be deported, a Fianna Fáil senator has said.

Lisa Chambers said there is “nothing stopping us” from deporting a person who commits a crime in the state.


It comes following reports that an internal Fianna Fáil document on immigration called for asylum seekers who commit a serious crime while awaiting a decision on their international protection application to be deported.

Fianna Fail Ard Fheis 2024
Senator Lisa Chambers and Billy Kelleher MEP during the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre (Damien Storan/PA)

However, Ms Chambers, who is part of Fianna Fáil’s ticket for the Midlands-North-West European Parliament elections, went further and said that it should also apply to those who have been granted asylum.


Speaking at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in Dublin, Ms Chambers said: “My view is that there’s nothing stopping us from deporting somebody that commits a crime in this state.

“If a blockage arises, we need to address it. Anybody that comes into this country, whether they’re seeking asylum or have been granted refugee status, if you break the law, you need to be sent back.

“That’s what the public are asking us for. If it’s an indictable offence, I think if it’s a serious offence, that needs to be looked at, that’s what we’re hearing on the ground, people want this taken seriously.

“If somebody comes in and commits a very serious crime that needs to be dealt with.”


Ms Chambers said she doesn’t believe the proposed policy could be challenged at EU-level, adding that other countries would be “very much along the same lines”.



It was also reported by the Irish Independent that there will be calls for legislation to be introduced to make it a criminal offence to destroy a passport when entering the country.

It comes after the European Parliament voted to approve the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum earlier this week.

The new rules include controversial measures – facial images and fingerprints could be taken from children from the age of six, and people may be detained during screening.

Fianna Fáil MEP Barry Andrews said: “I think the overall Pact requires us to update the International Protection Act and if it has any implications for criminal law, that will also have to be dealt with in legislation. So it’ll be a matter for the Dail, the Seanad and the European Parliament.


“We know for example, that there was a report just last week as well about an applicant who appeared without documents and he was jailed for a period of time.

“So this happens already. It’s already provision in law and I think the overall message here is that we have to get the balance right between protecting the human rights of people who are fleeing a well-founded fear of persecution, while also restoring public trust in migration management, not just in Ireland, but across the European Union.


“We have to take the issue away from the far right, they want it to remain an issue on the table to sow social division.”

Senator Niall Blaney, who represents the Donegal area and is a candidate for the Midlands-North-West European Parliament elections, said there are parts of his constituency that are “overcrowded with migration”.

“I think we also need to look at those areas that are really feeling the weight of migration, because there are some rural parts of my constituency that are really overcrowded with migration,” he said.

“There needs to be a greater effort at local level by those in charge to ensure that local people get access to services, particularly when it comes to health care.

“There are areas… where people on the ground are really feeling the impact on the health service.”

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