Senator Alice-Mary Higgins introduces Bill to temporarily halt deportations

Deportation Moratorium (COVID-19) Bill 2020
Deportation Moratorium (COVID-19) Bill 2020

Both the Minister and the Taoiseach yesterday responded to our Deportation Moratorium (COVID-19) Bill 2020 by announcing a "stay" on deportations during the public health emergency except in circumstances such as "a threat to national security". They have also committed to pause and review issuing deportation orders at this time.

Myself, Senator Lynn Ruane, Senator Frances Black and Senator Eileen Flynn introduced the Bill because 469 deportation letters have been issued since March, causing alarm and distress not only to the individuals who receive them but also to their communities, friends and colleagues.  While the Government would not formally accept our legal prohibition, the shift in policy they have offered is very welcome. We will be following up to ensure that this assurance genuinely reaches the cases already affected and engage with the Minister around the potential revoking of some of the orders.

The UN Network on Migration has called on all countries to "suspend forced returns during the pandemic in order to protect the health of migrants and communities and uphold human rights" they noted that "forced returns can intensify the public health risk for everyone".

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The 'low-ball' public procurement model is broken and needs reform

Read my op-ed in The Journal here -

IN 2019, IRELAND spent €12 billion on contracts for goods, services and construction. This figure is set to rise considerably in the coming years as €116 billion in major capital works projects are rolled out under the National Development Plan.

The public has a right to expect that when money is spent on their behalf, it is spent in a way that delivers the best results. That requires a carefully thought-through approach to the quality of standards and performance in areas like sustainability, social impact, decent employment and design.

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins speaking on the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes

Speaking about the report and the response of both Church and State, Senator Higgins said: "Like many others, I was frustrated  & angered by the tone & framing in the report produced by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. Today, in the Seanad, I spoke about the responsibility of Church & State’s & the need now for actions guided  by the voices, demands and needs of survivors of these institutions & the wider system of control & abuse. They must receive both redress & justice!"