A number of protests over direct provision centres last year raised a series of questions, not all of them easily answered. Most protesters insisted they were concerned about the conditions prevailing in some refugee centres while others pointed to the official secrecy around decisions about where to locate centres.
The process is now more open so the universally expressed goal — successful assimilation — is now a realistic objective in most situations.
There are, unfortunately, unresolved cases. One of those involves a family facing deportation this week.
Four Khan brothers, all studying in Cork, and their parents have been told they will not be allowed to apply for international protection in Ireland and face immediate expulsion.
The principal of the school where three Saudi-born brothers attend has been very critical of the decision, calling it “immoral”.
Coláiste Éamann Rís principle Aaron Wolfe has welcomed the boys and said they were devastated to learn that their future in Ireland is in jeopardy.
A fourth brother, Hamza, is a first-year Sanctuary Scholar in UCC under a scheme for refugees or asylum seekers living in direct provision.
Immigration is a reality of our age, as it has been for Irish families for centuries. Therefore, it is very difficult to understand why a family that has shown such commitment to becoming full, contributing members of this society are so threatened.
The decision to expel should be reviewed.