Question to the Minister for Justice and Equality ( Mr. Alan Shatter, TD)
To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the measures being used to investigate the criminal backgrounds of persons coming to Ireland; if all persons coming to Ireland are screened; and if he will make a statement on the matter- Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN response on Tuesday, 21st January, 2014
Under section 4 of the Immigration Act 2004 an immigration officer may refuse to give permission to a non-national to enter the State under certain circumstances, including where the person has been convicted of an offence punishable under the law of the place of conviction by imprisonment for a period of one year or more.A non-national may also be refused permission to land or be in the State if an immigration officer has reason to believe that the non-national’s entry into, or presence in the State, could pose a threat to national security or be contrary to public policy, or where there is reason to believe that the non-national intends to enter the State for a purpose other than their stated purpose. In carrying out the necessary checks at the ports of entry, immigration officers have access to all international immigration watch lists and, as appropriate, databases maintained by An Garda Síochána.As well as the legal requirement on non-nationals to seek permission to enter the State on arrival at an approved port of entry, visa required nationals are obliged to disclose any criminal convictions as part of their application. Checks are carried out as needed with An Garda Síochána and other countries’ immigration and police authorities as part of the application process. Checks are also carried out with the authorities of the United Kingdom in the context of maintaining the integrity of the Common Travel Area.Furthermore, where any person who is not a citizen of Ireland or the United Kingdom, who is resident in the State, is known or suspected to have engaged in criminal activity, An Garda Síochána may provide relevant information to the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS) for the purpose of consideration being given to initiating a process to arrange for their removal from the State pursuant to section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 or, if the person is an EU national, pursuant to Regulation 20 of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006.