Independent TD, Mattie Mc Grath has questioned the government’s ‘open door’ immigration policies, which he says has resulted in a “staggering” almost 700 percent increase in asylum seekers here in the first nine months of 2022, compared to the same period last year.
The Leader of the Rural Independent Group, and deputy for Tipperary said: “A recent PQ reply I obtained from the Minister for Justice confirms that around 100 undocumented asylum seekers a week, or 3,254 over the first eight months of 2022, arrived at Dublin Airport without a shred of ID documentation. Putting this number into context, it equates to the population of a town like Cahir in my Tipperary constituency.”
“Astoundingly, those same individuals had presented ID documents at their point of departure. Therefore, how could they not be in possession of those same documents when they arrived at Dublin Airport? This screams suspicious,” he said.
“In overall terms, almost 10,000 asylum seekers arrived here in the first nine months of 2022. Continuing this trend would see close to 15,000 arrivals by year’s end, which would surpass the previous record of just below 13,000 in 2001. At a time when Ireland’s housing supply is buckling, an unending increase in asylum seekers here is enormously worsening the existing accommodation crisis, subjecting Ukrainians to be placed in tents.”
“In addition to the estimated 55,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Ireland since March, there has been a proportionate rise in non-Ukrainian asylum seekers coming into the State from the likes of Somalia, Afghanistan, Nigeria and surprisingly, Georgia, deemed safe and an EU candidate country. The latest statistical figures, provided to me by the Justice Minister, illustrate 1,500 monthly arrivals.”
“This entire situation appears farcical, yet extremely serious, as the integrity of Ireland’s immigration system appears severely compromised. Could hardened criminals or gangs be exploiting our ‘open door’ and penetrable immigration rules? With no caps, questionable checks, and no one refused entry, it is easy to see how this policy failure could be exploited.”
“For instance, routine deportations that were suspended during the pandemic have not recommenced, meaning no one is turned away. Previously, it took two years for the first decision on their status, and five years or more if they made an appeal, with deportation rare and problematic.”
“Certainly, genuine asylum seekers under the international protection process should be accommodated, but our immigration policies should be robust enough to ensure a comprehensive examination of each case to ensure exploitation does not occur. It is clear that the present arrangements are not fit for purpose, yet this government has no plans to make necessary changes.”
The Independent TD said he was “calling on the government to address the ‘elephant in the room’, to get serious about those arriving here without documentation, and to tackle bogus asylum claims, which are gravely impacting all public services already at breaking point.”