EU cash will help State fund more deportations
By Edel Kennedy
The Irish Independent, October 12, 2009
The EU is giving cash to the Government to help pay for flights home for migrants who lose their jobs.
Ireland had applied to the EU for monies to help non-EU immigrants who cannot afford to live here or who have failed in their asylum applications. The EU has agreed, and will provide around 600,000 per annum from 2008 to 2013, under its Return Fund.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said: 'For the first year of the fund, Ireland has decided to focus on forced returns.'
In the first five months of this year, 103 people were deported at a cost of 270,828. One of the most expensive deportations to date was that of a Ghanaian man, in March 2008, which cost 151,900.
Fine Gael's Denis Naughten, party spokesman on immigration said: 'Ideally if Ireland, France and Germany had people to send back to somewhere like Chad, one flight would be used to bring them all.
'But the problem is that while we may regard Chad as 'safe' for those going home, another country might not.'
The Government spent 2m on the voluntary repatriation of non-EU nationals between 2005 and 2008.