Asylum seekers are not denied a hearing

TWO letter writers (Irish Examiner, November 1) do not want people deported who had applied for residency before January 2003 on the basis that they had had a child in Ireland.

Ann Hayes of Waterford Immigration Network is incorrect when she says "some of them are not being allowed to make their case for asylum".

I checked this with the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) on November 2 and was told that anyone who had withdrawn an asylum application which had not been determined was entitled to reapply, and several have done so. Let's at least try to get our facts right.

Margaretta D'Arcy says these people "came to Ireland in good faith", by which she apparently means they were confident that if they had a child here they could stay. "Good faith" my eye.

To get to the stage of applying for residency they had first to sneak into the country illegally and then lie to ORAC that they were being "persecuted".

If their case was accepted, they got refugee status and didn't need to apply for residency here on their child's birth. To do so is proof positive that they are here illegitimately.

How dare she claim that we "owe" these people when they have abused our systems. Far from being a proper response, as these writers claim, to give residency to these people would be a triple betrayal of Irish people.

Firstly, the giving of residency since 1990, based on the Fajujonu judgment, was an unnecessary policy based on a flawed interpretation of what the court's ruling required. Several immigration lawyers have admitted this.

Secondly, when it was obviously urgent to change our citizenship laws, the Belfast Agreement insanely made it a constitutional imperative and left us stuck with it until the recent referendum.

Now that we have finally established some control over this abuse and can deport these frauds, we are told we should not do so. These lobbyists think everyone has rights except the indigenous people of this country.

Áine Ní Chonaill

PRO

Immigration Control Platform

PO Box 6469

Dublin 2

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