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Asylum Seekers

Today, Wednesday, 18th December 2019 is UN International Migrants' Day.  According to the CSO, some 12.7% of the population, 622,700 people, are non-Irish.  Earlier this month, Minister Charlie Flanagan welcomed 2,000 new citizens to Ireland in a citizenship ceremony in Kerry, while a reported 127,000 people have been conferred with Irish citizenship since 2011.  This is great news.  Ireland, with its history of emigration, should be a country of one hundred thousand welcomes.  However, as three reports published just this month show, we do not always welcome all equally.

As a policy objective, Ireland can remain a low-tax economy, but not one incapable of adequately supporting necessary economic, social and infrastructural requirements. Our current low tax/low investment model is not sustainable and we regret that Budget 2020 did not take greater steps to address this.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) this week published its fifth monitoring report on Ireland.  In it, the ECRI point to a number of improvements since its previous report was published in 2012, such as the establishment of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, the recognition of Travellers as an ethnicity, and the revised Migrant Integration Strategy, however problems of racism persist particularly for Travellers and those asylum seekers living in Direct Provision centres.

Ireland's current means for accommodating asylum seekers is increasingly unfit for purpose, and the practice of keeping people in such circumstances for in some cases several years is inhuman.