Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Direct Provision System
359. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons in the direct provision system who are waiting to have a first hearing, waiting on an appeal and on a deportation order, respectively; the length of time each person had been waiting on 31 May 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11157/20]
The following table provides details of the number of pending applications in the International Protection Office for persons residing in direct provision, on 31 May 2020*.
|Case Stage/Length of Time||Less than 3 months||3 to less than 6 months||6 to less than 12 months||12 to less than 18 months||18 to less than 24 months||24 months plus||Total|
|1. Cases at initial stage of processing||118||424||620||51||16||25||1254|
|2. Cases at Interview stage||3||15||283||141||45||38||525|
|3. Cases awaiting decision||0||6||155||428||249||173||1011|
|4. Cases awaiting interview or Decision of a parent||26||155||318||162||64||18||743|
Case Stage 4 - these are dependent children whose claim is included with those of a parent. It is not possible to separate them into pre and post interview.
There are 1,606 appeals on hand at the International Protection Appeals Tribunal as of 31 May 2020. The Tribunal does not maintain statistics pertaining to appellants’ residence in the Direct Provision system on its databases. Immigration Service Delivery records indicate that of the 1,606 appellants, 1,028 were recorded as being in Direct Provision on 31 May 2020.
In terms of persons with a Deportation Order, my Department’s records show that the number of persons in Direct Provision accommodation on whom a Deportation Order has been served is 374.
My Department’s records show that a further 57 Deportation Orders have been made in respect of Direct Provision accommodation residents in the period leading up to the COVID-19 restrictions, but, owing to the disruption to many areas of the Immigration Service caused by the pandemic, these Orders have not yet been ‘served’ on the relevant persons. Those Orders will be served on the relevant persons as soon as it is possible to do so.
A further 55 cases have been identified where the relevant international protection and permission to remain claims have been refused but, due to the pandemic restrictions, these cases have not been progressed to a conclusion.
In this context, the Deputy might note that section 51 of the International Protection Act 2015 provides that a person refused international protection and permission to remain and who does not avail of the option of voluntary return shall, subject to the refoulement consideration provided for in section 50 of the same Act, have a Deportation Order made in respect of them. However, that will be conditional on the relevant person not having another form of permission to remain in the State or not having another type of immigration application remaining to be determined. All such matters are investigated, as part of the formal due diligence process, before a decision to make a Deportation Order is taken.
360. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the budget for the direct provision system in each of the years 2015 to 2019 and to date in 2020, in terms of administration, accommodation, travel, legal costs and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11158/20]
There are currently 44 dedicated accommodation centres being operated under the Direct Provision reception system, in addition to Balseskin Reception Centre, which allows for the delivery of necessary supports and services to persons newly arrived in the State.
Due to continuing increases in the numbers applying for international protection in recent years, these centres reached full operational capacity in September 2018 and my Department contracted a number of premises, hotels and guesthouses, to provide accommodation on a short-term basis until the Department could procure additional accommodation centres under a regional tendering competition. There are 37 such accommodation premises currently being used to accommodate international protection applicants on a temporary basis.
In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, my Department also opened four dedicated self-isolation facilities for residents in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Dundalk.
My Department is also operating three Emergency Reception and Accommodation Centres (EROCS) which are used to accommodate persons arriving in Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP).
My Department contracts for an all-inclusive service, which includes catering services, as well as cleaning
,maintenance and laundry services. The administration costs of Direct Provision from 2015 to the end of May 2020 are broken down in the table.
|Expenditure Type||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020 (to end May)|
|Accommodation (including commercial, State-owned and self-catering). Emergency accommodation costs are included from September 2018 when such accommodation was first utilised.||€54.895m||€60.327m||€65.407m||€76.057m||€125.936m||€68.159m|
|Pre-school (contributions towards some costs)||€0.127m||€0.112m||€0.095m||€0.107m||€0.095m||€0.047m|
|Additional costs at State-owned centres (incl. gas, oil, water, sewage, etc)||€1.879m||€3.558m||€1.742m||€1.512m||€1.517m||€0.761m|
|Transport costs (under dispersal policy)||€0.103m||€0.129m||€0.093m||€0.182m||€0.579m||€0.182m|
|Miscellaneous (payments for personal hygiene products, grants to organisations and miscellaneous costs)||€0.021m||€0.011m||€0.022m||€0.135||€1.281m||€0.810m|
The 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 figures include an amount of €0.538m, €3.214m, €7.728m, €7.550m and €7.605m respectively for designated Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres (EROC). The corresponding figure for 2020 to end May is €2.490m.
361. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons approved for asylum who remain in direct provision accommodation as at 31 May 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11160/20]
A total of 916 people living in Direct Provision accommodation have an international protection status (refugee status or subsidiary protection) or a permission to remain in the State, as of the end of May 2020. These residents have the same entitlement to access housing supports and services as citizens and EEA nationals.
Considerable work is being undertaken to support these residents to move out of accommodation centres and into secure permanent accommodation. My Department has a specific team who work in collaboration with DePaul Ireland, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Peter McVerry Trust, officials in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and the City and County Managers Association to collectively support residents with status or permission to remain to access their housing options.
Since the beginning of the year and up to the end of May 2020, a total of 433 persons have moved from Direct Provision accommodation into the community. This compares with a figure of 203 people the previous year (2019), when the project commenced. We will continue to work with the remaining residents to assist them to do the same.
362. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons in the direct provision and emergency accommodation system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11161/20]
The State has a legal obligation to offer accommodation, food and a range of other services (including utilities and healthcare etc.) to any person who claims a right to international protection in Ireland while their claim for protection is being examined.
As of 7 June 2020, a total of 7,387 people are being provided with accommodation in permanent and temporary locations by my Department.
This figure includes 5,552 persons resident in our 45 dedicated accommodation centres located nationwide and a further 1,500 persons resident in temporary commercial premises such as hotels and guesthouses. Every effort is being made to re-accommodate applicants from these temporary locations to a dedicated accommodation centre as quickly as possible.
The figure of 7,387 people also includes 335 people accommodated in the Balseskin Reception Centre in Dublin. The purpose of the Reception Centre is to provide a short orientation period and the necessary supports and services for people newly arrived in the State before being accommodated in centres around the country. During their stay in Balseskin, international protection applicants are offered health screening and are processed for PPS numbers and medical cards. This ensures that residents can access the Daily Expenses Allowance and any necessary medical supports once they have been allocated their accommodation.
Residents who have been granted an international protection status (refugee status or subsidiary protection status) or a permission to remain have the same access to housing supports and services as Irish and EEA nationals. However, due to delays in accessing other accommodation, there are 916 residents, as of the end of May 2020, in accommodation centres with a protection status or humanitarian permission to remain in the State.
Considerable work is being undertaken to support these residents to move out of accommodation centres and into secure permanent accommodation. My Department has a specific team who work in collaboration with DePaul Ireland, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Peter McVerry Trust, officials in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and the City and County Managers Association to collectively support residents with status or permission to remain to access housing options. A total of 433 persons with status have moved into the community to the end of May 2020 this year compared with a figure of 203 for the same period last year.