Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New drive to cut cost of asylum appeals

NEW measures to reduce the cost of last-minute legal efforts to block the deportation of failed asylum seekers are to be introduced in the new year.

A streamlined judicial review process will mean that an asylum seeker can only seek a single review of a ministerial decision in the courts.

The single procedure will allow all elements of an asylum application to be dealt with together and if the claims are unsuccessful, the failed applicant will be liable for deportation without further court challenges.

This will replace the existing system, which allows multiple attempts to be made in the courts to overturn a decision.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Asylum applications at lowest level in 10 years

ASYLUM applications to Ireland have plunged to their lowest levels in over a decade amid a crackdown by immigration authorities.

The number of people looking for refuge is now at levels not seen since the late 1990s, and officials are also attributing this to the collapse in the economy. The drop in 2009, the year in which the recession hit hardest, was 35pc from 2008 levels.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rise in foreign nationals claiming welfare

The amount of foreigners claiming social welfare in Ireland has risen despite large numbers leaving the country, it has been revealed.

Of the 118,000 people arriving in Ireland in 2004, 10% registered for benefits but that figure jumped to almost a quarter last year.

The Central Statistics Office blamed rising unemployment for driving greater numbers of migrants to the dole.

Monday, December 21, 2009

49% in NI believe migrants taking jobs

Almost half of people in Northern Ireland think migrant workers take jobs away from locals, it was revealed today.

Nearly a third think they came simply to receive benefits, the survey for the Department of Employment and Learning said. Most felt they were putting a strain on services.

The report said attitudes may have hardened with tougher labour market conditions.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Immigrant queries on redundancies up

Almost 500 people contacted the Immigrant Council of Ireland about job losses compared with just 70 calls in 2008.

“We have heard rhetoric about the recession taking the urgency out of the need for immigration reform because migrants are supposedly going home,” chief executive of the council Denise Charlton said.

“There are lots of people who are not going home, they’re Irish now or they’re married to someone Irish or their children are Irish.

“What makes up the Irish population has changed for good and despite the recession we still have to ensure that we have a system that can respond to that.”

Thursday, December 17, 2009

46 Nigerians deported

A TOTAL of 46 Nigerians were deported last night after they had failed in their bid to seek asylum status here.

Gardai from the National Immigration Bureau escorted the group onto a flight to Lagos at Dublin airport after an earlier spate of arrests across the country.

This is the 23rd charter flight to Nigeria. Last October 48 Nigerians were deported, while another 13 were returned to Lagos in September; a group of 35, including a convicted drug dealer, was sent back in June; a further 10 in May; and 30 in April.

Nine out of 10 asylum applications are deemed to be unfounded.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chinese brothels set to open up across country

The Chinese brothels that have opened up in Dublin are set to take off across the country following a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to prosecute two establishments operating in the capital.

However, following revelations in this newspaper, the women working in the brothels stopped openly offering their services and, it is understood, when a detective asked what services were on offer the girl in question made no reply other than "massage".

The use of the euphemism rather than the open offer of sexual services appears to be the point on which the DPP has decided that it would not be possible to prosecute the cases in court.

No major prosecution appears to be under consideration into the very major organised brothel operations in Ireland which are generally controlled from abroad.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ireland ‘among worst’ for racism

IRELAND ranks among the worst countries in Europe in terms of discrimination against ethnic minorities from sub-Saharan Africa, a European report has revealed.

The Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) surveyed more than 23,000 people from ethnic minority and immigrant groups about their experiences of discrimination, racist crime, and policing in the EU. Members of the Roma people said they suffered more discrimination across the whole of Europe, but in Ireland sub-Saharan Africans were more likely to be discriminated against.

Number of asylum seekers falls

THE NUMBER of Nigerians seeking asylum here dropped by 50% this year compared to 2008, latest figures from the Department of Justice show.

Overall, the numbers seeking asylum dropped by 40% year on year but Nigeria still provides the highest number of asylum seekers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Saudis' Islamic school here

Plans for an Islamic school in Dublin to teach the children of Saudi people living here have been announced by the Saudi Embassy in the capital.

Details of the decision are carried in Arabic on the embassy website, which says the decision to set up the school was taken at a meeting in Dublin last last month.

Welfare fraud: the scams

- The vast majority of cases prosecuted are for those who are working but claiming jobseekers allowance.

- PPS numbers can be traded on the black market. This can happen when someone leaves the country but sells or "rents out" their PPS number to someone who can then claim their entitlements.

One in 250 natives of Mauritius live in Ireland

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern has confirmed that one in 250 of the Republic of Mauritius’s inhabitants have opted for life on these altogether greyer shores.

A total of 5,000 of the island’s 1.25 million Mauritian nationals are registered with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

So great is the lure of Ireland that the Mr Ahern has been forced to clamp down on Mauritians’ visa requirements.

Romanians charged for stolen card use

Three Romanians have been charged in connection with an alleged €40,000 shopping spree with a Laser card stolen from a woman’s handbag.

Gardai revealed husband and wife, Costin and Constanta Colciu, were arrested at Dublin Airport on Monday as they were about to board a flight to Amsterdam.

A third man, Catalin Tatarsanu Miron, was later arrested at an address in Tallaght.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Welfare fraud costing taxpayer almost €2 billion annually

Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin has defended her department’s record in tackling welfare fraud after a RTÉ Prime Time programme revealed fraud and mistakes relating to a range of benefits cost the Exchequer almost €2 billion annually.

The programme, which was broadcast last night, showed that fake PPS numbers could be easily obtained on the black market after just a few telephone calls.

Monday, December 7, 2009

State to tap immigrant return fund

THE Government is seeking EU funds to get illegal immigrants from Nigeria, China and Brazil to leave the country.

It wants to tap into the European Return Fund (2008-2013), which is worth almost €700m, to pay for the return of illegal immigrants.

The top five source countries for asylum applications in the first 10 months of this year were Nigeria (499 people), Pakistan (216), China (169), the Democratic Republic of Congo (91) and Moldova (79). But the overall number of applications (2,354) is the lowest since the mid 1990s and far below the peak of 11,634 refugee applications in 2002.

Pakistani fraudster took visa bid to court using fake ID

IMMIGRATION officials and gardai have uncovered a scam in which a Pakistani national used a false name in an attempt to secure visas for his alleged wife and six children.

The fraudster assumed the identity of another man, who was serving a prison sentence in Britain, and had also acquired a passport in another name.

But despite using the bogus identity, the man brought his case to the High Court when the visa applications were refused.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Libyan teen threatened to burn house

A teenager who threatened to follow an employee of the Refugee Reception and Integration Office home and burn down her house after his request for accommodation was refused has had his sentence adjourned.

Roma men jailed for trafficking into Ireland

THREE MEN have been sentenced in Romania for up to seven years for trafficking 28 people – including one child – into Co Wexford for labour exploitation.

Remus Fusteac (41) was jailed for seven years, while his son Arthur Sergiu (21) and nephew Alexandru Fusteac (20) were both sentenced to five years for trafficking, illegal possession of firearms and organising a criminal syndicate.

The three had previously been deported from Ireland in 2004 after being investigated for money-laundering.