Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Deputy Eugene Murphy has called on the Minister for Justice to give a Ballinasloe woman back her husband after the Brazilian native was deported despite the fact that their marriage was recognised by the HSE as genuine. Deputy Murphy raised the case of Kleber Silva Medeiros and Ballinasloe woman Harriett Bruce under the Topical Issues section of Dáil business last week.
Speaking in the Dáil chamber Deputy Murphy said: “Minister I want to bring a particularly heart-breaking case to your attention today- 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. This is the story of Ballinasloe woman Harriett Bruce and her Brazilian born husband Kleber Medeiros who in my view was unjustly deported from Ireland on July 13 and I am calling for an urgent review and investigation of this case.”
Kleber Medeiros had been living in Ireland since 2011 when he came here on a student visa and was living in County Galway. Kleber was working and studying but in March 2012, unfortunately, his English college closed down and he lost his student visa. He continued working and was paying taxes all along. He went to the Garda National Immigration Bureau [GNIB] in Galway, he was upfront all along he was trying to sort out his visa.
“When they got engaged last year, however, 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 Ballinasloe woman Harriet Bruce in St Michael’s Catholic Church in Ballinasloe.
“However, in July, Kleber 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 Kleber was anxious to co-operate and he was optimistic that the situation would be resolved so he duly presented himself. He was deported the next day, and remains in Brazil.
“On July 22, a letter to Kleber from the HSE arrived at their home in Ballinasloe, saying: “Following an investigation of an objection to the above proposed marriage . . . the Superintendent Registrar has decided that there is not sufficient evidence to uphold the objection . . . and no impediment to the 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,” he said.
Harriet runs a successful beauty business in Ballinasloe and she has temporarily left Ireland to be with Kleber in Brazil but business commitments will not allow her to stay there permanently.
“I am calling on you Minister to investigate and review this matter as a matter of urgency,” Deputy Murphy continued.”These are real people — they are not to be reduced to file numbers– they are real people whose only crime was to fall in love…
Harriet has business and property commitments in this State and it is outrageous that as an Irish Citizen she would have to close her business and move halfway around the world simply because she fell in love and chose to marry a non-EU citizen.
“I implore you Minister to review Kleber Medeiros’s deportation order or at the very least allow him to return to Ireland to sign the marriage certificate which was justly granted to the couple.
“It is time to reunite this genuine couple — it is time to bring Kleber home,” concluded Deputy Murphy.
Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy said that he could not comment on individual cases but he acknowledged that the case was under consideration and all materials would be fully considered and a decision would issue in due course.
Deputy Eugene Murphy called for the case to be reviewed as quickly as possible as he noted that the family were at “their wits’ end” and he believed every effort should be made to right “this wrong.”