JUST UNDER 6,000 applications for asylum have been withdrawn since changes were introduced in immigration law five years ago.
Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said that 5,799 asylum applications had been withdrawn including 1,777 applications last year and a further 607 up to the end of October this year.
In the same five-year period, 8,486 deportation orders were issued and 2,118 implemented. The largest number of deportations occurred in the first two years of the new rules with 591 deported in 2003 and 599 the following year. To date this year 95 have been deported, including people whose asylum application failed. In the period from 2004 until this year a total of 1,019 people were moved to the country where they first entered the EU. He said "in the region of 400" applications for long-term residency were being "finalised" every month.