Rules not changed for individual family, minister says
Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, the Minister of Justice, told reporters yesterday that immigration rules will not be changed for one individual family.
Magnús says, meanwhile, that the change is not needed only for one family: the minister could change the rules in a way that would be helpful to many. In fact, she has already done something similar once so far this year, he says.
Magnús told RÚV news nobody is calling for a special rule that only applies to his clients, but that the minister has in her hands the power to change the rules. “It has happened before when cases have come up, including earlier this year by the current justice minister.”
Under the law, there is a maximum limit to the allowable time to process asylum applications. Applicants whose cases take longer are automatically allowed to stay.
Currently the law counts the time between application and final decision, but Magnús believes it should be changed to the time between application and deportation. In the case of his clients, the family’s application was rejected ten months ago but they are still in Iceland. “We’re talking children. They bear no responsibility for these delays but in the meantime they’re assimilating.”
The family has been in Iceland for more than two years in total but will be deported next week if their case remains unchanged.