An Albanian couple is scheduled to be deported from Iceland along with their ten-month-old daughter, who was born in the country, Vísir reports. The deportation will take place a few days from now despite the fact that the family’s case is still being heard in court.
Nazife and Erion have lived in Iceland for a year and a half and their daughter, Erna, was born in the country in April 2017. They first came to Iceland as asylum seekers in 2015, at which time they received work permits and worked at a hotel in Reykjavík until they were expelled from the country. Not long after, however, they came back to Iceland and applied for residence permits. They say that they’ve also paid a bill of around ISK 700,000 [$6,965] to the government to cover the costs of their previous deportation. Their residence permit application has now been rejected, however, meaning that within 15 days, they will be expelled from the country again.
“It’s not an option for us,” said Nazife. “Our lives are here, our child is here. She has a better life here.”
According to article 102 of the Immigration Act, babies born to foreign parents may not be expelled from the country if, according to the National Register, they have had a permanent, uninterrupted residence in Iceland since birth. The legal domiciles of asylum seekers and residence permit applicants are, however, registered differently than other children that are born in the country.
The Directorate of Immigration claims that the provision does not apply in Erna’s case. The family disagrees and has taken the matter to court, arguing that registering children’s legal domiciles in different ways is a violation of article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that children cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their parents’ status.
It’s believed that the case will set legal precedent in Iceland. “There is clearly legal uncertainty here and it’s a question of whether a decision was basically made to impede legislators,” says Claudie Wilson, the family’s lawyer.
Nazife says she simply doesn’t understand why they need to leave the country, in that they can support themselves and be of use to society.
“We are able to be responsible for ourselves. Why should we go back when we have a life here?”