An elderly woman in her seventies, her daughter, and her seven-year-old granddaughter are now facing deportation and separation from the rest of their family in Iceland.
RÚV reports that the three originally came to Iceland fleeing terror squads in Colombia. The elderly woman’s son-in-law was murdered by these squads, and she herself was kidnapped and extorted by them. The Directorate of Immigration (UTL), whilst not disputing any of this, decided that this did not constitute a strong enough threat to warrant asylum in Iceland.
The lawyer for the three, Katrín Oddsdóttir, told reporters she believes UTL tried to reach a negative conclusion beforehand.
“I think that, unfortunately, when I read this decision, that they were trying to focus on arriving at a negative conclusion, rather than seeing the whole picture,” she said. She added that these three have established roots in Iceland, and have already integrated well.
UTL is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior. When Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir was asked for her position on the matter, she said, “I cannnot of course comment on an individual case, but generally speaking, I have emphasised that it is very important, and completely necessary, that we speed up the [asylum application] process,” citing that the seven-year-old girl has lived in Iceland two years, and has only now received a response from UTL.
While saying she hopes for a “successful conclusion”, she would not comment specifically on how humanitarian the deportation is or is not – only that the asylum seeking process in general should be faster.