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70 Asylum Seekers Were Deported in March

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70 Asylum Seekers Were Deported in March

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Library picture. Police vehicles in convoy. Photo: Screenshot from RÚV.

85 people applied for asylum in Iceland this March. In March 2016, that figure was 48 and the number of applications in the first three months of this year is 60 percent higher than the same period last year.

There were 137 requests for international protection in Iceland in the first quarter of 2016 and 223 requests this year.

The office of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic police deported 70 people last month.

748 people applied for asylum in Iceland during the last four months of 2016; including 548 from Albania and Macedonia, according to a statement from the Directorate of Immigration.

The statement says that, including April so far, the 2017 figure is currently over 260 applications. Applicants are from 18 different countries, though most are from Albania and Macedonia. 76 percent of applicants are male and 24 percent female.

RÚV reports that 74 percent of the applicants are over 18—meaning that a whole 26 percent are children. Two of the minors are said to have been traveling alone.

The Directorate of Immigration says that the police deported 70 people in March, of which 60 left willingly. Of those 60, 43 received support from the Directorate of Immigration and eight received support from the International Organization for Migration.

The Directorate of Immigration statement says that processing times for priority cases have got longer, which is due to the increased number of applications for international protection they received in the final four months of last year. This has led to further delays in the processing of normal asylum applications and cases covered by the Dublin Regulation.

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