Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Asylum seekers stage protests

Asylum seekers are holding demonstrations in several towns across the State today to highlight the long delays in deciding their cases and the poor living conditions at accommodation centres.

The protests coincide with an August 31st deadline set by the Reception and Integration Agency, which is responsible for the care of asylum seekers, for 109 residents at Mosney to move to a different asylum hostel in Dublin.

Up to 80 asylum-seekers demonstrated outside Mosney this morning over the transfer orders made to the residents to move to Hatch Hall in Dublin.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Fewer than 25% served with deportation orders have been removed from State

THE GOVERNMENT has deported fewer than a quarter of the people it targeted for removal from the State over the past decade.

Figures show 3,680 people – the vast majority of whom are failed asylum seekers – have been deported since January 2000. In the same period successive ministers for justice signed some 16,799 deportation orders. The wherabouts of the remaining 13,119 people served with deportation orders is not known. Some have voluntarily returned to their home country, others have fled to other EU states and some live illegally in the State.


Thousands of asylum seekers unaccounted for

UP to 5,500 people who are claiming asylum are not living in the state-provided accommodation centres where asylum seekers are expected to reside, and so fall outside official figures.

According to figures obtained by the Irish Examiner, there are approximately 11,500 cases awaiting processing in the lengthy and complex legal system around asylum – and not just the 6,000-plus who live at the state-funded centres.

Under Department of Justice rules, asylum seekers are not allowed to seek alternative accommodation in the private rented sector.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

'Work for dole' scheme announced

The Government has confirmed that it is to introduce new measures which could see some dole claimants work in the community in return for their benefits.

The proposals could be introduced as early as next month, recipients could be denied dole if they refuse to work.

The proposals would see participants work 19.5 hours a week and receive around €210 in return.


Immigrants should be screened on arrival

Immigrants arriving in Ireland should be obliged to undergo a medical examination, the overwhelming majority of Irish people think, according to the latest Sunday Independent poll.

Some 76 per cent of those polled said that in view of the outbreak of Tuberculosis (TB) in Cork last week, all arriving immigrants should be required to undergo a medical examination.


Vast majority favour tougher begging laws

Dublin's iconic Ha'penny Bridge has become a battleground of rival "indigents and beggars" scuffling for the best begging "pitches".

In recent months, the rivalry has intensified with different factions of Dubliners, eastern Europeans and occasionally Roma gypsies vying for market dominance.

With an estimated footfall of 30,000 pedestrians a day, Sean Kavanagh, who runs Ireland's Big Issue magazine, says begging is a growth industry.


Latvian woman in marriage scam claims she was raped

A YOUNG Latvian woman has told gardai that she was raped and sexually assaulted by men who lured her to Ireland to take part in an arranged marriage.

The woman claimed that she was used for sex by a group of Asian men who moved her between different houses in Waterford and the Cork towns of Midleton and Cobh. She was poorly fed, intimidated and left without any money.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Asylum seeker doctor lied on CV to get job

Dr Ahmed Alastal (38) yesterday told an Irish Medical Council hearing that he had fabricated some parts of his employment experience when applying for a position in a psychiatric hospital in the Midlands.

The father of two, who lives in Portlaoise, worked as a junior doctor at St Fintan's in Portlaoise between July 2009 and October 2009.

He resigned from the job when concerns were raised about his past work experience. Dr Alastal was granted political asylum here in 2003 and was made an Irish citizen in 2008.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gardaí object to 57 suspected 'sham' marriages

GARDAÍ HAVE objected to 57 marriages in the last nine months as part of an ongoing operation to combat “sham” marriages aimed at circumventing immigration law.

They are investigating allegations of false imprisonment and rape from several women who were lured to the Republic by men promising jobs who subsequently pressured them to get married.

Chief Supt John O’Driscoll of the Garda National Immigration Bureau said yesterday many cases involved vulnerable young women, recruited particularly from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. “We have made 16 arrests so far as part of Operation Charity, which includes nine people who were removed from the State because they were here illegally. A further seven have been arrested for suspected criminality,” he said.


Customs staff sacked in race probe

Seven Revenue and Customs staff have been sacked for racially abusing non-nationals who claimed child benefit, it has been revealed.

Two others quit when an investigation was launched earlier this year. All nine were based at an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) contact centre in Belfast.

It is understood they were accused of tampering with computer records, which meant a number of people from ethnic minority backgrounds living in various parts of the UK were paid less money than they were entitled to. All have now been fully imbursed.


Five are deported in sham marriage operation

A GARDA investigation into sham marriages for the purpose of gaining residency has led to the deportations of at least five people, the Irish Independent has learnt.

Many more deportations could follow as a result of Operation Charity, an ongoing Garda National Immigration Bureau investigation aimed at tackling so-called marriages of convenience.

The operation was set up last year to prevent and detect criminality associated with marriages between EU and non-EU nationals for the purpose of gaining residency in Ireland.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Up to 15% of Irish marriages could be bogus

Up to 15% of civil ceremonies held here in Ireland may be bogus, according to the HSE's superintendent registrar.

An increase in bogus marriages has been noted across the country as non-EU nationals, typically from Pakistan and India, seek residency after marrying an EU citizen.

Under an EU directive, non-EU spouses and family members of EU citizens have the right to travel freely within the union, despite the Irish Government's attempt to limit this right.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Garda issue warning over online racism

THE GARDA have warned people who set up pages inciting racism on online social networks that they are open to prosecution, and even people who join these sites could face charges.

Sgt David McInerney of the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office said site hosts like Facebook were also “open to prosecution” if there was a valid complaint about racist online material.

“It is only a matter of time before a prosecution is brought,” he said.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Takeaway facing immigration fine

Owners of a Co Antrim kebab shop were facing a fine of up to £20,000 after immigration officials arrested two of its employees.

Two Pakistan nationals, aged 37 and 29, were arrested, one on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant and the other on suspicion of breach of visa conditions.

The owners of Raz Kebab in Carrickfergus must now show they carried out "right-to-work" checks on the men.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Female asylum seekers not happy with detention conditions

A SMALL number of foreign women held in immigration-related detention have complained about the conditions in the Dóchas Centre, including in some cases, racist abuse from other inmates.

"Detainees report having racist insults hurled at them from Irish criminal offenders that are detained within the same space."

It also quotes from one of the interviewees: "I suffered depression in Zimbabwe, but it is worse now since I’ve been in prison."


Review ordered for asylum seekers

IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES have ordered a review into the cases of asylum seekers who are waiting five years or more to receive a final decision on their application to continue living in the State.

The review could benefit about 100 people who have been living in direct provision accommodation centres since 2005. It may be extended to a couple of hundred other asylum seekers, who choose to live outside the centres.

Officials at the Department of Justice have told non-governmental organisations (NGOs) the review is not an amnesty, although it is being undertaken with a view to granting leave to remain to people living here longer than five years.


Monday, August 2, 2010

A third in asylum centres are children

At the end of May there were 6,246 people living in direct provision accommodation in 45 centres around the country, 2,034 of whom are under 18.

More than 1,250 of those are children under four years old, suggesting many are being born in Ireland as asylum seekers.