December 9, 2020
Government must show compassionate approach to deportation orders – Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin’s Leader in the Seanad, Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile, has expressed disappointment at government amendments to legislation which would introduce a moratorium on deportations for the duration of the pandemic.

Speaking after a Seanad debate on the issue, Senator Ó Donnghaile said:

“I am supporting the Seanad Bill to put a moratorium on deportations for the duration of this pandemic. This is about showing compassion to people who are experiencing serious stress already and who need the certainty and the security that they won’t also have to fear being removed from this country.

“Many of those who this legislation would seek to protect are undocumented, people who have come here and in many situations are working on our frontline.

“All deportations must stop for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency, so that people can have certainty and can stop living their lives in daily fear of this threat.

“Since the pandemic began, four people were deported to Brazil and some 500 deportation orders have been issued. This is extremely stressful for those affected. And those people with deportation orders hanging over them are in a very distressed state.

“I am disappointed that the Government could not support this Bill as it is and instead submitted amendments at this early stage.

“This emergency situation requires understanding, compassion and solidarity. These are exceptional times and they require exceptional decisions.”

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