Wednesday, 1 July 2015
Department of Justice and Equality
150. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will clarify, of the 700 migrants her Department claims are coming to Ireland in a recent spike in immigration numbers, the number who are seeking asylum, and of those seeking asylum, their nationalities; the number of persons who were refused permission to enter the country and turned away; the reason this would be putting pressure on public and immigration services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26515/15]
I assume the Deputy is referring to the increase in asylum applications in 2015 to date compared with the same period last year. 1,147 new asylum applications were received to the end of May this year compared with 492 for this period in 2014. On average 230 applications have been received per month in 2015. The top five source countries for applications in 2015 are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Albania, Nigeria, and Malawi. These countries account for almost 70% of the applications received to end May. The sharpest increases relate to applications from Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals.
In accordance with the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) asylum applicants may make an asylum application at the frontier of the State and are given permission to enter and remain in the country pending the final outcome of their application.
Sharp increases in asylum applications such as those experienced in the last 12 months puts pressure on all areas of the system including the protection processing and appeal bodies; the Direct Provision system which provides bed, board, and ancillary services to asylum seekers; and health and welfare services.