The Human Costs of Deportation

Yesterday saw the launch of a campaign of a new group called Anti-Deportation Ireland who are against the system of direct provision and the practice of deportation. One asylum seeker Aisha Yusuff wrote of the pain inflicted on her family by the deportation of her husband:

“I reside in Drishane Castle in Millstreet Accomodation Centre with my two children ages four and two, both born in Ireland. I arrived in Ireland in July 2008 with my husband to seek asylum. We were given deportation letters by the justice system a year later. The letters explained that as a family we were not to be separated and would be deported together.

We were asked to continually report to the GNIB office in Dublin so that our removal from the state could be facilitated. We did this for over a year. We would be asked at times to present ourselves twice a week in the rain or snow, and we were mostly there to swap letters of a new return date. My husband and I were really frustrated at this stage as we had to drag our kids to and from Dublin, so we were relieved when the immigration police finally showed up at our hostel in December 2010.

We had our bags packed awaiting their arrival, but to our surprise the immigration police said they were here just for my husband. They only had his travel documents. From people’s stories about deportation, we knew it was best not to argue with them. As my husband was been taken away, my daughter, who was almost two then, started crying for her daddy, and that she wants to go with him. As fate would have it, my husband was returned back to Ireland because the plane was faulty. I remember the first thing he said to me was that “God doesn’t want me to miss our daughter’s birthday.”

He was deported a month and a half later. As a result my daughter that started talking at nine months, stopped talking. She used to be very bubbly and attached to her daddy and now only just copies her brother who has just started talking. She can’t really understand where he went and why he is not coming back. Life without my husband is semi hell, I never thought I could survive without him and was like a mad woman for the first six months after his departure. I had serious anxiety over leaving my room, I was always scared that they (the children) might hurt themselves while I am away or that they might get hurt outside with only me watching over them.

The only thing I can say right now is that I cannot wait to be reunited with him, it been almost two years since he was separated from us, my two and a half year old son doesn’t know his daddy, he was six months when his dada left. We can’t wait 2 see him.”


Anti-Deportation Ireland (ADI) is a national network of activists, asylum seekers, refugees, community workers, trade unionists, and academics who have come together to campaign against forced deportation in Ireland, and for the abolition of the direct provision system.

Further reading on Anti-Deportation Ireland (ADI):

Find out more on them at the Anti-Deportation Ireland website

Facebook: Anti-Deportation Ireland (ADI) page The human and economic costs of deportation

Irish Left Review: Anti-Deportation Ireland launches campaign against direct provision and deportation


On Forcible Deportation

by Francis Duggan

He was forcibly deported from Millstreet in County Cork
To want a better life for himself and his wife and young children was his only crime
In twenty first century Ireland this seems all wrong to me
A hark back sad to say to Oliver Cromwell’s time

When poor people from their homes were evicted forcibly
On to the roadway for  to die or struggle to survive
Cromwell justifiably to many seen as an evil man
Since their human rights of people he chose to deprive

In any Country’s Constitution there is not any written law
That any man is  not entitled to a better life
A decent job and a  home to live in where he can feel secure
With his nearest and his dearest his children and  his wife

In Ireland there is a new movement called Anti Forcible Deportation
Of such a grouping one might say the World is in need
That any good person should be forcibly removed from his family to me does seem quite wrong
For the  displaced it is a sad World to live in so very sad indeed.

28 thoughts on “The Human Costs of Deportation”

  1. The above article does make for sad reading to take a father from his wife and young children and deport him out of a Country comes from a cruel and antiquated law, i feel so disappointed as a free migrant myself to read this and i can empathize with the mother and her young children on how they feel, this now may be seen as a lawful act but to me it is no less a crime than Oliver Cromwell and Henry Ireton’s crimes when they put thousands of poor people on the roadways of Ireland many of them did not make it to Connacht, Cromwell and Ireton are loathed by many and understanbly so but for a father whose only crime is to want a better life for himself and his wife and children to be taken from them and forcibly deported to be seen as justifiable in the twenty first century seems all wrong to me, there is so much truth in the saying that an injustice against one is an injustice against many, on a brighter note it is good to read that there is a new movement formed in Ireland called A D I to fight this cruel forcible deportation law, thanks for publishing the above article and i hope that Aisha is united with her husband and that her young children get their dad back and long live the spirit in the ‘Fair go for all’

  2. I agree fully with Francis, this is indeed a horrible way to treat people. As a people we have emigrated all over the world and made our homes across all the continents. We should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. I feel great pity for Aisha and her children, I cannot come to terms with how they must feel to be seperated from their dad. I would like to know if Francis is interested in supporting ADI. The more Irish people the better and maybe noone else will have to suffer like Aisha.

  3. very touching indeed, the horror of deportation is indeed a huge trauma that cannot be penciled. kudos Francis and Aisha for your efforts. my heart breaks as i read this. Long live ADI.

  4. we are glad that the real truth behind deportation is being brought to light. more grease to ADI. we only wish that more people will be bold enough to come out and support one of the most vulnerable group in our society. our heart goes out to Aisha and her kids!

  5. it is very easy to be suicidal in sitaution like this,with the family head deported,life changed for ashia’s family .Ashia ,i do belief you were stressed and depressed, and had the THOUGHTS of taking your own life.and for the children am not sure any one till now have the right words to explain to them why their father was taken away from them.mind you when they go to church or school,they see their friends being accompanied by their parent(mum and/or dad).THEY SEE FATHERLY LOVE BEEN SHOWN TO THEIR FRIENDS BUT THIERS HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY OR DEPORTED and no matter what.that too has changed the childrens mind psychologically.
    like Uche pointed above it is very touching indeed.

  6. Please,read this article three times and you will see how mentally touching it is. the fact that they can not respect even what they wrote on the deportation letter to the family.and even more-so,Aisha since 2008 still in the asylum system.i think its a broken system and asylum and applications system should be reformed.

  7. This shows the true colour of this government and what it is doing to the people behind doors. A lot of things are happening to asylum seekers but they are afraid to say it in public because they fear that they can be the next targets. I think this is the time to say no to deportations and let these people have their freedom and happiness back. The way the system works here is so bad and the bad things that the government inflicting to the people in direct provision is swept under the carpet and never published. People came to this country to be protected from their governments or countries of origin but when you look at it you come to the same treatment you experienced from the countries of your origins. People have lost their true identity, most are stressed and depressed and a lot have gone mentally ill. Asylum seekers do not want to live in this situation anymore let alone to be controlled like as if you are controlling a Television set by changing channels. Some of these asylum seekers are graduates, teachers, nurses, footballers if l relate to their talents l can mention a lot but they can not use what they know to do or contribute in the Irish Society because of the rules and conditions that are put upon them. Aisha story is a sad one that needs to be condemned at all levels. l say to this government, stop these deportations and give the people their lives back that you have taken away from them. The struggle continues – Aluta Continua – Long Live ADI


  8. Deportation is an inhuman practice. No government pretending to be democratic should allow these things to happen. The fact that asylum seekers live in a constant threat to be deported is also unacceptable. How bad does that affect one’s mental health? God bless ADI. Hopefully they will be successful with their campaign


  9. Well done to for highlighting Aisha’s story and the launch of Anti Deportation Ireland. The campaign hopes to unite asylum seekers and members of local communities throughout the country in order to put an end to deportations and to the direct provision system. All people should be treated equally, regardless of what country they were born in. We are all human and want to make the best life possible for our children.
    If there are any Millstreet people who want to get involved, I can be contacted through the website. I live in Cork city.

    1. hi joe, we admins are apolitical here on it’s a community website, so the article is here because Aisha and her family live within our community.

  10. Thanks for the clarification. I would still appeal to any Millstreet resident who is interested in getting involved to contact me.

  11. I may have missed it somehow but at this point I am still wondering why this man was deported, or possibly extradited. Refugee status does not automatically confer exemption from the law…no matter what country you live in. Let’s get the facts before condemning anyone.

    1. the idea that aisha’s husband may have broken the law or extradicted should be a point.firstly i belief ADI was not born to be linked with law brokers.he did not broken any law.
      Margaret, you can read watch aisha’s husband (KAMAR)on utube giving his account on that day. by checking ‘Kamar’s account of the failed deportation of 15th Dec 2010 from Ireland to Nigeria’.

      [administrator addition] The youtube video is here:

  12. That is an important question Margaret. Aisha tells how both herself and her husband came to Ireland to seek asylum here. Their asylum application was refused. Ireland has the lowest rate of granting asylum in the EU, approximately 2%. This fact is the subject of a report released last week by the Irish Refugee Council, it is available on their website. Aisha’s husband did nothing wrong here so he was not extradited.
    When the family was given deportation orders, they prepared to leave but when the immigration people came, they took only her husband, leaving her and their two children behind. This is the point Aisha is making and graphically outlines the affect that separation has had on her daughter.
    Surely it cannot be right that families are separated in this manner. I am aware of 3 other families in county Cork that were similarly separated. ADI is attempting to raise awareness of these issues and hopefully get the government to reverse its current policy.

  13. Hi Joseph,
    Thank you for the fast response. The wife says they came to Ireland to seek asylum and were refused. I am still having difficulty with this. I thought that asylum had to be granted prior to being allowed to settle in the country. What country did they come from? Why were they seeking asylum? Are there charges pending in their own country? Who provided the funds for travel? Ireland has never shown a lack of compassion for those in need. Check this website for verification of the generosity of our hometown even as they wrestle with a faltering economy, overtaxed services and, once again, the immigration of their youth.
    However, the people of Millstreet have the right to know exactly who is living in their midst.

  14. Margaret, asylum cannot be granted prior to somebody arriving in a country. That is the situation around the world. First you arrive in a country and seek asylum there. Ireland is not as generous as it portrays itself. Only about 2% of applicants are granted asylum. The EU average is 27%. This information is available on the Irish Refugee Council’s website. The point of this story is that the family was broken up by the Irish government, the husband was deported and his wife and two children are left behind. It is very hard reading how this has affected the young girl. All people regardless of where in the world they were born should be treated equally and with respect.

  15. Hello Joe,
    I am very aware of “the point of the story”. I am also aware that I will not get an answer as to the reason for his deportation which was the point of my response. The judicial process is in place in order to determine the validity of claims. Obviously there is more to this story than we are being told. Surely you are not suggesting that every person who shows up on the shores of our tiny country seeking asylum be granted just that, permanently and unconditionally. It is the responsibility of a government to protect its citizens. I respectfully suggest that ADI make it their responsibility to present the facts in their entirety.

  16. On looking at and listening to Kamar speaking on Youtube i could not help but to reflect on what is such a sad loss to his family but not only that to Ireland as well as here is a very intelligent and good person, the reason his wife and children were not deported i would assume is that it is unconstitutional to deport children who are born there out of the Country so the mother in such a case cannot be taken from her children, his account of his deportation is not something that i as a person can feel good about in any way, to think that he was handcuffed as he were a common prisoner must have been so humiliating to him and then only offered
    pork sandwiches to eat which is against Islamic beliefs must feel dehumanizing for him to say the least, having that said one must wonder did the Irish Dept of Immigration check with the ECHR on were they returning him to a safe environment for him to live in under human rights law? i would say not, anybody who thinks that Nigeria is a wonderful Country to live in maybe should go to live there and find out for themselves, the human rights record of that Country are appallingly bad anybody who dares to speak against the Government there are in danger of being imprisoned or worse stoned or beaten to death, treating asylum seekers with the dignity and respect they are due is not a vote winner for any government so by the way that asylum seekers are treated you know how the vast majority of the voters of any Country are feeling on the issue, it is good to know at least that we can air our views on this without fear of retribution in many Countries such is not the case.

  17. Margaret, it would be inappropriate for me to post the private details of any family. The position of ADI is as follows, 1. ADI opposes deportations, 2. ADI seeks the closure of the direct provision system, 3. ADI wants all asylum seekers to have the right to work.
    It is obvious that we do not agree on these issues. Thanks for raising your concerns.

  18. Hello Joseph and your organized supporters:

    The private details of anyone else’s family hold no interest for me until they impact public policy and the safety and welfare of our country. For the record I am very glad that the refugees are given help. Millstreet is a town that has given many of its people to the foreign missions and it is not surprising to me that they extended a helping hand. I support everyone’s right to work….and I firmly believe in “Respect for the Individual” I support speedier hearings and thorough screening of all applicants. What I do not support is mindlessly jumping on a bandwagon to defend a situation where we are not been given the full facts.

    1. Wow! Looks like a better researcher out there found out a few more details!

      Maybe it is time for the Irish taxpayer to question who he/she is supporting and to compare refugee intake with immigration output.
      Thank you for your attention….and thank you Christiana.
      That’s all folks!

  19. I’ve been following the blogs and thought I’d add my own two cents.
    To be granted residency outside of one’s native country is a privilege and an honour. It is not a right or an entitlement. That said, every country needs to recognise the plight of a refugee who is in danger. The country in which residency is sought needs to make a speedy determination as to the disposition of the request.
    Before a determination can be made, the government must, in the fulfillment of its duties to the State, examine, clarify and verify all of the facts presented to it. The person seeking refugee status needs to co-operate and provide full, truthful details on a timely basis.
    The problem that Ireland is wrestling with is that it is, indeed, a tiny State trying to cope with a large influx of people seeking refugee status. It is true that the number of people has dropped in recent years, but there is a significant backlog to deal with. For some time, I’ve been following the progress made in dealing with the backlog. It’s troublesome, indeed: it seems that many of the decisions made to deport or repatriate certain persons are followed by several appeals, thus delaying the entire process. This seems to be the primary reason why so many people seeking refugee status appear to be in limbo. The government needs to implement processes to deal more speedily and conclusively with (i) situations where the details presented by a person seeking refugee status cannot be verified and (ii) the appeals process, in particular.
    Someone mentioned that several asylum seekers are highly talented. I do understand this and it is a valid comment, but I hastened to add that many of our own talented people are emigrating because they cannot find employment. These are our own economic refugees.
    I watched the video of Kamar and it is a very sad story, as is Aisha’s letter. Of great significance, of course, is that we cannot verify all of the details mentioned, and neither can we say that all of the details have been presented. It is interesting to note that Kamar Yusuff lists himself on twitter as “C.E.O Fullmoon Investment & Concept Ltd, Psychology Student, Politician, and Former Board Member of Nasc, The Irish Immigrant Support Centre, Ireland.”

    1. Wait Christina what exactly are you getting at?so the fact that kamar listed himself as a Psychology Student or trying to rebuild his ego after facing a cruel and inhuman deportation 2yrs ago by listing himself as CEO,tell me how does that undermine the reality of the trauma that his children and kids are passing true..pls we don’t need prejudiced comments like yours and that of margareth on this site,we are here empathising with real life situations but you are busy checking someone out on twitter,such act is preposterous and it is a malady…

  20. Christina writes, “It is interesting to note that Kamar Yusuff lists himself on twitter as “C.E.O Fullmoon Investment & Concept Ltd, Psychology Student, Politician, and Former Board Member of Nasc, The Irish Immigrant Support Centre, Ireland.””.
    These credentials read suspiciously like those of the “Nigerian Scammers” who regularly send out emails intending to defraud their victims of their hard earned income. Of course those people are only successful when gullible or greedy people respond and believe them. I would similarly view these people, ,the Yusuffs in such a light.
    Be careful what you wish for.

    1. I knew Kamar when he was a board member with Nasc and he was a participant at trainings I delivered. He was a decent hardworking individual who just wanted a chance to contribute to his family and to society. To identify him as a scammer is appalling when you don’t know the person, his situation or his life experience. I wish him and his family the best of luck in the future.

  21. Kamar’s Farewell To Millstreet

    The winter morning air in it did have a cold chill
    A few hours before a gray dawn did break above Clara Hill
    A bang on a doorway Kamar the cry rang out
    You are coming with us the emigration officials did shout

    To his wife Aisha and their two young children a tearful farewell
    Such sad stories of their lives some people have to tell
    In a fair World such a story would never be
    Life is so cruel to many would you not agree?

    For Kamar it was a sad farewell from Drishane in Millstreet
    Just a short walk from where the rivers do meet
    And from the railway track in the green countryside
    Where in Ireland’s famine for every sleeper a working man died

    On the tracks in the depths of Winter from hunger and cold
    Their individual life stories never to be told
    The Human World is still ruled by the forces of greed
    Of far more people with compassion and empathy we are so much in need

    It is something that has been said many a time
    To want a better and a safer life for yourself and your wife and your children is never a crime
    To forcibly deport decent asylum seeking people is such a terrible thing
    Such shame on a Nation such a practice does bring

    In the dark of a cold Winter’s morning before the break of day
    Kamar from his wife and his children was forcibly taken away
    When the cold winds of Winter from the mountains did blow
    In Drishane where Finnow to the Blackwater flow.

  22. I have only just seen this thread and feel obliged to put a few things on record. I worked alongside Kamar for the 2 years he was in Drishane Castle. He was a superb young man, intelligent, a great sense of humour and fully committed to the community development work that was much needed to improve the conditions for people seeking asylum in this country and not just to improve his own situation. He was not a criminal. Devoted to his family that were the subject of prejudice in his own country he worked hard to counter the prejudice he encountered in this country. He was a great organiser and rounded up Drishane volunteers to help Tidy Towns clean-ups in Millstreet on several occasions, facilitated in bringing in training from the Social and Health Education Project to Drishane, was a very reliable member of the local voluntary support group, Le Cheile Millstreet. One of the most difficult problems we encountered as a group was in persuading local people to visit and meet the residents in Drishane as it is only in face to face contact that prejudice can be challenged, (unless ye have the empathic skills of Frances Duggan!). Kamar would have proved a great asset to Irish society had he been given the opportunity to stay. I still miss him.

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