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Some migrants lying about nationality to claim asylum, journalist claims

An analysis of the chaos in Ireland’s asylum system by The Times newspaper has asserted that many migrants “lie about their nationality” in order to claim to be refugees fleeing persecution.

Journalist John Mooney writes that the system is on the brink of collapsing – and he points at the tweets issued by Minister Roderic O’Gorman outlinng benefits to asylum seekers, and Minister Helen McEntee’s amnesty for illegal immigrants, as key factors in the climb in numbers of arrivals to Ireland’s shores.

The total number of asylum applications received in 2019 was 4,780. In 2020 it dropped to 1,566 but the figure rose to 2,649 in 2021 with the majority of applicants coming from Nigeria, Georgia, Somalia and Afghanistan.
A year after the O’Gorman tweets and McEntee’s amnesty announcement, the numbers jumped to 13,651 in 2022.

As Matt Tracey has explained on this platform, international statistics also indicate that Ireland is one of the main targets for Georgians. In 2021 Ireland received the sixth highest number of refugee applications from Georgia in the entire world.

Figures from the International Protection office show that very significant numbers of those arriving in Ireland claiming asylum are from countries considered safe.

Mooney says that: “many also lie about their nationality to try to secure residency rights by claiming to be refugees fleeing persecution.”

“For example, Pakistani nationals claim to be Afghans fleeing the war while Kenyans claim to be Somalis,” he claims.

“Investigations into the background stories of applicants are almost impossible to check as many destroy their travel documents and claim to have no identification papers,” he explains.

Thousands of migrants continue to arrive in Ireland having destroyed their documentation, new figures show.

In the first four months of this year, 1,465 persons arrived to Dublin Airport with no travel documents, while another 354 had false documents. They subsequently claimed asylum.

Last year, more than 5,000 people with false or no documents presented at Dublin Airport and were permitted to claim asylum in the country.

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