Legal Fund Launched For Child, Born In Iceland, Who Faces Deportation - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Legal Fund Launched For Child, Born In Iceland, Who Faces Deportation

Published May 7, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Main photo by
Andie Fontaine

A refugee family is fighting to stay in Iceland, as immigration authorities have slated their two-year-old child for deportation, despite being born in Iceland. Appealing their case will mean taking the matter to court, and so a legal fund has been started for the family.

“Despite being born in Iceland and lived here all her life, two year old Erna will be deported along with her parents because their residence application has been rejected,” text with the fundraising post reads in part, pointing out that this directly violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which obliges countries to put the best interests of a child ahead of all else.

In addition, Article 102 of Iceland’s own Law on Foreigners forbids deporting a foreigner who was born in Iceland and had continuous residence here.

As reported, Nazife and Erion, the parents of Erna, are an Albanian couple who first came to Iceland seeking asylum in 2015. At that time, they received work permits and were employed by a hotel in Reykjavík until they were deported. They returned shortly thereafter and applied for a residence permit, and had to furthermore pay 700,000 ISK to the state—the amount they were charged by the government for their own deportation. They have been fighting to remain in the country ever since then.

This possible case of illegal discrimination against the child is not an uncommon occurrence in Iceland. Stundin, for example, has reported that former Minister of Justice Sigríður Á. Andersen, in response to a formal question from Pirate MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, has revealed that Iceland has deported 14 children who were born in the country over the past eight years. During the same period, 281 children seeking asylum in Iceland were denied it, and barred from staying in the country.

The fundraising post includes information for those with Icelandic bank accounts who want to contribute to the legal fund.

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