Will Egyptian Family Be Deported Tomorrow?

The Egyptian children, whose deportation has been protested.

The Egyptian children, whose deportation has been protested. Photo/Sema Erla Serdar

Vala Hafstað

An attorney for an Egyptian family, set to be deported from Iceland tomorrow, has sent a letter to the Welfare Committee and the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee of Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, insisting that their case be addressed, Morgunblaðið reports.

He contends that deporting the family would violate Article 76 of the Constitution, which stipulates that “[by] law, children shall be guaranteed the protection and care their wellbeing demands.” Alþingi’s General Committee discussed the case today on the request of Guðmundur Andri Thorsson, MP for the Social Democratic Alliance.

The asylum seeking family of six – a couple and their four children - has lived in Iceland for more than two years, and the two older children have gone to school during this time. After having been in Iceland for 15 months and 11 days, they received notice that they’d be deported.

A protest in support of the family took place in front of the Ministers’ Residence on Tjarnargata, Reykjavík, this morning, where protestors handed a list of more than 12,000 signatures to the prime minister.

MP Guðmundur Andri Thorsson.

MP Guðmundur Andri Thorsson. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Guðmundur Andri believes the deportation violates the constitution. He wants to know why, again and again, there are plans to deport children who have put down roots here.

Friðþjófur Helgi Karlsson, principal of Háaleitisskóli Ásbrú grade school, now attended by three of the children, states that the children have made friends at school and studied Icelandic, as well as other subjects.
“I hope this deportation won’t realize. I’d be very saddened if it did; I refuse to believe it’s going to happen,” he states.

Guðmundur Andri believes the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason the family’s case has taken this long to process. In addressing the case, these unprecedented circumstances must, in his opinion, be taken into account, putting the interest of the children first.

According to Morgunblaðið , 80 people who have been denied protection in Iceland, are on the list of the supporting department of the national police commissioner, which oversees the deportation process.

There are examples of people having been in Iceland for years after a deportation ruling was issued. This can at times be explained by problems encountered in obtaining the required IDs from their country of origin.

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