Believes Deportations Costlier Than Just Granting Asylum - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Believes Deportations Costlier Than Just Granting Asylum

Published August 18, 2016

Main photo by
Anna Domnick

Pirate Party MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson has questioned the Directorate of Immigration’s (UTL) frequent use of the Dublin Regulation, saying that it likely costs more to deport someone in the end than it would to simply examine their cases and possibly grant asylum.

“I’d be interested in seeing what the costs [of deportation] are when compared to opening more cases for examination,” Helgi said in parliament yesterday, Vísir reports. “I think it costs much more to push people out of the country.”

For the unfamiliar, the Dublin Regulation is an international agreement whereby signatory states may reserve the right – although not the obligation – to deport asylum seekers back to their previous point of departure without examining their cases if they have applied for asylum elsewhere.

“There is a common misunderstanding that it costs to say yes [to an asylum application],” Helgi said. “While we forget the cost of saying no. The cost of taking a decision [to deport], which is then appealed and rolls on in search of getting a yes.”

As it stands now, asylum seekers who are given a deportation notice from UTL have the right to legal counsel, and to appeal the decision to the Immigration Appeals Board. From there, it can then be appealed to the courts.

Helgi believes UTL deliberately invokes the Dublin Regulation in order to examine as few asylum applications as possible. He proposes that UTL make it a policy to examine more asylum applications, as this would likely reduce costs in the long run.

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