Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway, Deputy Eugene Murphy, is calling on the Minister for Justice to bring a Ballinasloe woman's husband home, after the Brazilian native was deported despite the fact that the marriage was recognised by the HSE as genuine.
Deputy Murphy raised the case of Kleber Silva Medeiros and Ballinasloe woman Harriett Bruce in the Dáil last Wednesday, describing it as a "heartbreaking case".
Mr Medeiros was deported from Ireland on July 13. He had been living in Ireland since 2011, studying and working in County Galway. In March 2012, his English college closed down and he lost his student visa, though he continued to work and had been in contact with the Garda National Immigration Bureau [GNIB] in an attempt to work out his visa.
Speaking in the Dáil chamber, Deputy Murphy said: "I am calling for an urgent review and investigation of this case. This is a case involving an unjust deportation order - a couple who have been separated by thousands of miles and a system which has failed them miserably.
“When they got engaged last year, someone objected to the HSE - which registers marriages - saying it would be a 'marriage of convenience'. It has since been established that this was an objection of a malicious nature and was totally unfounded. The couple went ahead with the religious ceremony and on December 10, 2015 Kleber married Harriet Bruce in St Michael’s Catholic Church in Ballinasloe."
However in July this year, Mr Medeiros received a letter from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service telling him to present himself to make arrangements for his removal from the State.
The couple were devastated, but co-operated and were optimistic that the situation would be resolved. However Mr Medeiros was deported to Brazil the next day, where he remains. Ms Bruce has left Ireland temporarily to be with her husband in Brazil.
On July 22, a letter from the HSE arrived at their home in Ballinasloe, stating that there was insufficient evidence to uphold the objection, and that no impediment to their marriage exists.
"So the HSE has admitted that the marriage is genuine and the marriage cert was issued, but this letter unfortunately came too late and the couple’s lives have been turned upside down. The ironic thing is that the marriage licence has now been issued and Kleber needs to sign this form but he is not permitted into the country to do so," said Deputy Murphy, who is calling on the Minister to urgently investigate the matter.
"Harriet runs a successful beauty business in Ballinasloe... it is outrageous that as an Irish citizen she would have to close her business and move half way around the world simply because she fell in love and chose to marry a non-EU citizen," he concluded.
Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy said the case was under consideration and a decision would issue in due course.