Children Born In Iceland May Be Illegally Deported Tomorrow - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Children Born In Iceland May Be Illegally Deported Tomorrow

Published November 15, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Two young children, both born in Iceland, are set to be deported as early as tomorrow, despite Icelandic law specifically prohibiting the deportation of children born and registered in Iceland. A protest is to be held at the home of the family, where police will arrive at 5:00 for the deportation.

The children in question, two-year-old Hanif and 8-month-old Jónína, were both born in Iceland, and have had continuous residency here. However, they are slated to be deported, along with their parents, who are asylum seekers from Togo, Stundin reports, where they were subject to concerted political persecution. UPDATE: Sources close to The Grapevine say the deportation will go forward as scheduled, tomorrow, in the early morning hours.

Despite the ruling of the Directorate of Immigration, Article 21 of the Act on Foreigners explicitly states that “a foreigner born in Iceland, who has since resided permanently and continuously in Iceland, cannot [be] denied entry to Iceland or expelled from Iceland”, with the original Icelandic version of this law adding “[there shall be no deportation] especially in the case of a child or the closest relative of a child, and the child’s best interest shall be upheld on decision”. Despite this fact, the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) has deported or ordered the deportation of families, some with young children who were born in Iceland.

Some Icelanders are planning to be at the home of this family at 4:00 in a show of solidarity. The police are expected to arrive at 5:00, from where the family are to be escorted to the airport, and onto a plane to Italy.

This policy has already been harshly criticised by UNICEF and Red Cross in Iceland, and has sparked public protest.

In fact, most Icelanders disagree strongly with the government’s asylum seeker and refugee policies. A recent poll from RÚV showing that about 73% of Icelanders believe the government should actually be accepting more refugees. Another poll from RÚV showed that, in addition, 70% of Icelanders are against making asylum regulations stricter.

Related:

Why Does This Keep Happening? A Closer Look At The Directorate Of Immigration

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