Dáil Éireann - Volume 499 - 04 February, 1999

Written Answers. - Illegal Immigrants.

30. Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the long-promised legislation to deal with trafficking in illegal immigrants will be published; the main provisions of the legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3052/99]

[1502] Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The position is that in the light of the recent High Court decision in the Laurentiu case dealing with deportation orders I am giving priority to the enactment of an Immigration Bill. Some of the provisions of the Illegal Immigrants Bill will be contingent on the provisions of the Immigration Bill and cannot be finalised pending the enactment of that Bill.

I have indicated previously that the Illegal Immigrants Bill will be aimed at the activities of those who organise and engage in the trafficking of illegal immigrants. The Bill will provide a framework by which those who engage in the trafficking of illegal immigrants can be dealt under the law. The Bill will provide for the creation of an offence of trafficking in illegal immigrants with appropriate penalties which in addition to fines and imprisonment will include, in certain circumstances, the forfeiture of the means of transport used in illegal immigrant trafficking. I do not anticipate any delay in finalising these proposals once the Immigration Bill I have referred to has been enacted.