Photo credit: Gript

Asylum seeker came to Ireland from UK for McEntee’s visa offer

Justice Minister Helen McEntee’s liberal immigration policies are attracting people to seek asylum even from safe countries, Gript can confirm.

This week, in an exclusive interview, this publication spoke to an Egyptian man named Osama, who confirmed that he had lived in the UK for 15 years before hearing about the Fine Gael Justice Minister’s visa offer for asylum seekers.

“I came from England. I lived in England for around 15 years,” he said.

“…but when I heard about Ireland, and I heard about the Justice Minister in Ireland, that it is open for everyone to get a visa [if you are] an asylum seeker, [I thought] this was a good country to get a visa from.”

Asked then if he came to Ireland for the “opportunities that were available,” he replied “I think so, yes.”

He described how comparatively difficult it was to get a visa in the UK, and also the three main reasons he preferred Ireland to Britain.

“First thing is [Ireland] lets you work – that’s not the case in England,” he said.

“Second, they let you open a bank account. Third, you can go anywhere and you’re not afraid of anyone like police because you have an ID from the government.”

Adding one more point, he said: “Also, if they refuse your [asylum] case, you can still stay like a human being.

“This is not like England. In England, if they refuse you, the police can stop you at any time, and catch you…you have to come to the police station and get your fingerprints taken. Every time, like this. It’s a crazy situation.”

The asylum seeker said he originally came from a town along the Suez Canal in Egypt, which is a major global shipping route. As such, ships would pass through his town going all over the world, which allowed him to stow away on one such vessel headed for the UK.

He claimed that he had to leave Egypt because it was believed that he had some part in the Egyptian revolution, and anyone associated with the anti-government demonstrations was being killed. As such, he claimed he feared for his life and made the decision to flee to Britain.

There he stayed for two years in London and four years in Bristol, and during this period he did work on the “black market,” and made “good money” from doing so.

Asked what kind of black market there was in the UK, he said “There’s a lot of things.”

“You can work in vending, you can work in companies, you can work in markets,” he said.

“You can bring something from an auction. I used to bring something from an auction that was a little bit cheap, and sell it at the market. I rented a place on the street, and I’d sell it. And I made good money as well.”

Asked if there were a lot of asylum seekers involved in the UK black market, he replied “A lot!”

“They are everywhere. And the government knows that very well. It’s not hundreds, or thousands, but millions there. A million have no visa in England…the government knows very well that there is a massive black market there.”

He went on to speak about the UK’s asylum system compared to Ireland’s, how Brexit is impacting asylum seekers’ decisions and more in the wide-ranging interview. Check out the full clip below.


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