Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Non-EU nationals working on fishing vessels illegally

AT LEAST 1,000 non-EU nationals are working on Irish fishing vessels without work permits, the Irish Transport Federation has said.

The Department of Enterprise, has not issued any permits to non- EU seafarers to work on Ireland’s 2,000-strong fishing fleet in the last four years and has not received any applications for such permits.

However, according to the federation, which is affiliated to Siptu, many workers from outside the EU are employed on Irish fishing vessels illegally. Some have also been badly treated.


Migrant workers 'powerless'

Migrant workers in Ireland are being put in a “powerless situation” where they are wholly dependent on the employer for their permit and continued legal immigration status, an Oireachtas Committee has heard.

An ongoing campaign by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland aims to give migrant workers the right to freely change employer, thereby stopping the exploitation of workers by unscrupulous employers.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Teen asylum seekers take HSE to court

FOUR TEENAGE asylum seekers planning to sit the Leaving Certificate next June have taken High Court proceedings against the HSE aimed at allowing them to return to schools they had previously attended in Dublin.

The four girls, who arrived in Ireland from Africa in 2008 as unaccompanied minors, were initially placed in care and had attended Dublin schools. However after they turned 18, they were relocated to adult hostel accommodation in Galway, where they are currently attending schools.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

State in foreign student drive

The Government plans to increase international students in higher education by 12,000, or 50%, over the next five years boosting the sector to a €1.2bn business.

A new visa regime and higher standards will be key planks of the reform.

As part of the initiative to boost the current €900m a year financial intake to €1.2bn, MrAhern launched a new immigration regime for international students, reforming entry requirements while at the same time imposing safeguards to prevent abuse of the system.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Unemployment still rising

The decline in the numbers of people in employment has slowed down but almost half of those without jobs have not worked in a year or more, data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has shown.

There were 1,859,100 people in employment in the second quarter of 2010, the CSO’s Quarterly National Household Survey has shown.

This represents an annual decrease in employment of 79,400 - or 4.1 per cent 0 and compares with an annual decrease in employment of 5.5 per cent in the previous quarter and a decline of 8.2 per cent in the year to the second quarter of 2009.


Ireland's outward migration highest in 20 years: CSO

A total 65,300 people left Ireland between April 2009 and April 2010, while the number of immigrants into the country stands at 30,800.

About 27,700 of the emigrants were Irish, up from 18,400 the previous year.


Bill on migrants criticised as unclear

THE GOVERNMENT’S latest version of its Immigration Bill still fails to provide clear rules on who can come and live in Ireland and what conditions and rights they have, a leading NGO has warned.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland said yesterday that the proposed Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 would result in inconsistent decision-making, delays and a continued reliance on the courts to decide many cases.

Provisions enabling the State to deport migrants without any possibility of appealing a decision would also breach Ireland’s human rights obligations, the council said in a paper on the new Bill.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eastern European gangs are attracted here by flawed bail system

Eastern European gangs will target Ireland increasingly because the "vast majority" of those caught for crimes ranging from ATM robbery, credit-card fraud and, most recently, robbery from parking meters on a large scale, receive bail almost automatically and abscond, gardai say.

The parking-meter gang of Eastern European origin is the latest to hit Ireland. It is linked to gangs that have been operating similar scams in Britain in recent years.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

First stones laid for Galway mosque

FOUNDATION stones for Galway’s first purpose-built mosque have been laid by international and national leaders of the Amhadiyya Muslim community.

The Masjid Maryum (Mary Mosque) will be open to “all worshippers of all faiths” when it is built in Ballybrit, the Irish Ahmadiyya Muslim chapter said last night.

Muslims are now the third largest faith grouping in the Republic, mainly Sunnis, and there are about 3,000 Muslims in Galway. Ahmadi worshippers are in the minority, but share good relations with fellow Muslims, Imran Ahmed Sheikh said.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Migrant strategy aims to make integration 'the norm' in classrooms

TEACHERS SHOULD create a more “intercultural learning environment” in classrooms and focus more on developing pupils’ English language skills during regular lessons.

These are two key proposals in a new Government five-year migrant education strategy, which aims to make “inclusion and integration the norm” and combat racism in schools.

In the 2009/10 academic year there were 28,422 migrant children attending second-level schools, 9 per cent of the school population. At primary level, there are 45,700 immigrant pupils out of a total student population of 476,000. British, Polish and Nigerians are the three biggest migrant groups at second-level schools.


Monday, September 13, 2010

State gives private companies €182m to run asylum centres

PRIVATE companies have won contracts worth more than €182m to run asylum seeker accommodation centres, an Irish Independent investigation reveals.

New records show how the slow pace of Ireland's asylum process has proved a cash cow for a small number of companies who secured major state contracts.

With some asylum cases taking up to six years to finalise, the business of providing applicants with food and shelter has been a lucrative one.

The revelations come just weeks after a Department of Justice value-for-money report found that state-owned accommodation was costing the taxpayer less per person than privately owned operations.


5,000 homeless living on streets

seen in the 1980s, with up to 5,000 people currently without a home and another 100,000 on social housing waiting lists.

The recession has been blamed for a dramatic rise in homeless numbers and comes as the Government's deadline for ending long-term homelessness by the end of this year rapidly approaches.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Giving asylum seekers social welfare would double cost

MOVING asylum seekers into the social welfare net would more than double the cost of accommodating them in Ireland each year.
A report into value for money in providing bed and board for would-be refugees found that the so-called "direct provision" system is the cheapest option.

Using this system, asylum seekers are paid a small weekly stipend in welfare payments but have their lodgings and food needs provided for.

The cost of providing accommodation for asylum seekers is now in the order of €91.5m with an average occupancy of 6,857 people.

However, moving those people directly into the social welfare system could end up costing at least €180m, the report found.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

African starts plane riot to avoid deportation

A Congolese asylum seeker, who was being deported from Dublin to Kinshasa, created a riot on a plane in Paris and had to be escorted back here.

Last night the asylum seeker was back in Wheatfield Prison where he had been held, prior to his deportation attempt.

He has been in this country for the past seven years and is understood to have criminal convictions for shoplifting and public order offences. It is now likely that he will be deported on a specially chartered flight.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Judge describes refugee claimant as "audacious"

A CHINESE national who sought refugee status in Ireland after claiming to be a persecuted Christian has been described by a judge as "audacious" in his claims.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern said the asylum seeker, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had ultimately admitted he knew nothing about Jesus, the name of Jesus's mother, or where he had been born.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gardai smash immigration scam

GARDAI have smashed a lucrative scam in which human traffickers were smuggling illegal immigrants into the State.

The scam involves illegals being put on flights into the country without any documentation. When they are stopped on arrival here, they claim to be minors and are put into the care of the HSE. They later disappear from the HSE hostels after lodging claims for asylum.

Gardai have suspected for some time that many of those who disappear from HSE care are being manipulated by traffickers and have noticed that a large amount of Chinese have been travelling here from Spain.