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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Time for a new immigration and asylum system


So finally the authorities have started removing the Roma who had been living in their own faeces on a motorway roundabout, seeking to extort free money and housing from the Irish taxpayer.

News reports have revealed how these people, with no visible means of support, had nevertheless been banking four figure sums in Western Union accounts. Either that money came from begging, such as I have already highlighted, or from out-and-out robbery.

Comments by Gardai in some news reports suggest the latter, in the form of handbag snatching, is the most likely source of much of the income they obtained.

The Romanian embassy is appalled by the behaviour of these people. They have repeatedly said so in public too. The Irish authorities have done their best for them, repeatedly offering them free flights home, healthcare, social services assistance, and even going so far as to take into care three at-risk children from the camp, which is soiled by the collective faeces of over 100 gypsies.

But none of that is sufficient for these people, who gravitated here from France and Spain seeking free housing and dole outs of funds from the Irish state, seeking to claim asylum (even though no EU citizen can claim asylum in another EU state) and demand the same lengthy list of freebies that other nationals have eagerly came here to receive.

To achieve that aim of a free life at our expense, these people robbed, begged, refused their children education and lived in their own filth. That is child abuse, pure and simple. While the women and children should be heading back to Bucharest, the menfolk ought to be doing prison time for those repeated acts of child abuse. But they won't. If we can get them onto a plane we'll be lucky.

As for the 38 refusing to leave, prison is now the preferred option. Warrants should be issued for their arrests on child abuse charges. Investigations by Revenue and the Gardai into the source of their incomes should proceed, and charges forwarded to the DPP in relation to tax evasion and theft.

The Romanian government should receive the bill for this. They have behaved honourably, but issuing handwringing statements is insufficient. Perhaps if they were forced to pay for the behaviour of their nationals, they would start taking this issue much more seriously.

This country showed good grace and the desire to help others repeatedly in the recent past and has seen that grace abused by criminals from all over the world. We've had 97% of Nigerian nationals who sought asylum proven to be liars. We've seen hundreds of cases of asylum seekers breaking the law in Ireland once given the chance of a new life here.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, except perhaps the bleeding heart professional vested interests of the likes of Pavee Point and the Refugee Council. After all, it isn't cheap to get to Ireland from Romania or Nigeria. Only the criminal classes can generally afford to travel. Those in real need of asylum, the people of Darfur, or Uganda, or Cambodia aren't coming. They can't afford it.

And with the accession of the Eastern EU states, we've seen the influx of Roma gypsies, who don't want to work, but are happy to live in their own squalor, use their children to beg with menaces, are suspected thieves and known to be fond of resolving disputes with large knives.

People forget we didn't have to open the doors to these people. We didn't have to permit large scale abuse of the asylum system. We showed hospitality and saw it repeatedly and systematically abused on a massive scale.

I propose we shut down all asylum programmes with immediate effect, and refuse entry to the state to anyone who shows up without the correct travel documentation.

In place of the current system, which has shown its flaws and inability to keep up with the scammers, I suggest we take two Aer Lingus planes and fly them to places with known and proven need.

Let us prove our dedication to the asylum process by removing ourselves from all current conventions and conducting an emergency intervention programme in actual warzones. Let us fly planes to Darfur, to the Ivory Coast, to Uganda, and to the other places at actual war (unlike Nigeria or Romania) and give a new life in Ireland to people who actually deserve it.

In most of the places on the planet where people have the greatest need of asylum, Irish charity workers are already on the ground. We should consult these NGO workers to establish who ought to be given the chance of a new life in Ireland and use them to establish screening processes to keep out criminals.

Then we can rest assured that we really are doing our bit to assist the most unfortunate. Unlike these thieving Roma chancers or the scamming Nigerians we foolishly let in thus far.

13 comments:

seanachie said...

'We've had 97% of Nigerian nationals who sought asylum proven to be liars.'

What is your source for this magical 97%?

I'm not doubting that abuse of the system has been effected by Nigerians, Romanians and many of other nationalities, a lot of whom did so because they had no other way of getting in. Not all of them, however, are criminals; we would all do the same if circumstances demanded it, and, guess what, tens of thousands of Irish do it in the US every year. Asylum law is, like any law, woefully imperfect - and, believe me, it has been subject to far worse abuse over the past century than it is today.

Criminals of any nationality should be treated as such once convicted in a court of law. This belief does not make me a bleeding heart - I agree that the Roma in question here should face prison for their child neglect, but we don't have courts merely for show. To spout some of the shite you have on this post is to put you firmly in line with the Far Right all over Europe. I don't care too much for political correctness either but if you are going to tar entire nations without furnishing any substantial proof, you might as well start by calling the Irish a nation of paedophiles (as other countries might feel entitled to do). Immigrants commit crime in Ireland, as they do in any other country but Garda statistics (yes, I know, imperfect) show that serious crime has not altered substantially in the past ten years, when large-scale immigration began.

BTW I don't think you're racist - your heart's in the right place, God bless you - but blogging indiscriminately about foreigners without any substantial evidence is the sort of thing that I see far too often among anonymous Front National voters on talkboards here in France.

Keep blogging about criminality whether it be committed by the Roma, Nigerians, Antarcticans, or, as is most often the case in Ireland, the Irish. But kindly maintain a bit of proportion too.

JC Skinner said...

Department of Justice figures for numbers of asylum seekers whose cases were refused, Seanachie. That's the 97%.
And I frankly refuse to be accused, by implication or otherwise, of racism on the basis of my posting the facts of this episode at the airport roundabout.
Your need to resort to such a crass attempt to demonise what I have to say indicates a lack of opposing argument, which is unsurprising because as far as the behaviour of that particular clan goes, most people would consider their rampant criminality and overt child abuse to be unforgiveable.
Garda statistics also indicate that non-nationals are significantly more likely per capita to commit incarcerable offences in this country, incidentally.
That's not a reason to close the doors to all. But it is a reason to close the doors on our current system and create a new one that actually benefits those who deserve asylum.

JC Skinner said...

Furthermore, the only Irish I have ever heard of seeking asylum in the USA are a tiny handful of former Republican terrorists. And as far as I'm concerned, they should be extradited back here by the US authorities.

seanachie said...

I said I didn't think you were racist, no implication intended. I would be interested though in seeing your Garda statistics; these ones indicate that serious crime (other than murder) has actually fallen slightly since 1995, when large-scale immigration was beginning, and I think it's unlikely that the Irish have become sufficiently angelic in that time to shift the burden of guilt onto non-nationals.

The asylum laws have been revamped in the past ten years and rightly so. Lying to get asylum does not make you a dangerous crimina howeverl, no more than working illegally on the buildings in the US does (my point regarding the Irish in the US was to do with general infraction of the law, not asylum).

And to suggest that only the criminal classes from certain countries are getting to Ireland because they are the only ones that can afford it is dodgy to say the least. Does that mean that all the Chinese, Senegalese, Malians and Arabs who make it to France are criminals? And getting into France is every bit as difficult and costly as getting to Ireland. As I said on the last comment, a bit of proportion would be welcome, as it stands your original post reads like typical tabloid breast-beating.

JC Skinner said...

Okay, let's go slowly then. Lying to obtain asylum is a crime. Therefore, going by the Dept of Justice's own stats, 97% of those who applied for asylum from Nigeria in recent years engaged in criminal activity.
I never suggested that all immigrants are criminals. Clearly that's nonsense. That's a straw man argument you've put up to avoid addressing the real points of contention in my post, which is that the people in REAL need of asylum aren't making it to Ireland because they can't afford to, and those who are coming here are often criminals.
We've seen the Roma at the roundabout banking four figure sums despite having no visible means of support. Pavee Point is spinning that they were receiving donations from kindly, yet anonymous, benefactors. The Gardai have evidence that the money came from theft and begging. When the evidence was offered to the people at the roundabout, unsurprisingly most of them took the option of the free flight home rather than the day in court.
It sickens me that people in real need of asylum are effectively being denied access to a better life here while people seek to defraud the Irish taxpayer by lying about their non-existent refugee status.
It also sickens me that Roma gypsies consider it legitimate to come to our country on the basis of a holiday (a given, since they do not have the right to work here) and then remain to beg, thieve and demand housing and dole-outs.
Crime in general has been falling, not only since 95, but effectively since crime statistics were first gathered in the 17th century. That's civilisation for ya.
But the prison service stats indicate that a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by non-nationals. This is perhaps indicative of the disproportionately young and male population of non-nationals, or perhaps of their lack of knowledge of Irish laws, especially in relation to road traffic offences.
But if you want to look at the nationality of drugs and murder incarcerations, those too are disproportionately non-national.
Once again, I repeat: I'm not saying it's time to shut the door on everyone. I'm saying let's be pro-active, going out and targetting the people who REALLY need our help, and simultaneously put out the message that Ireland no longer has an open door for those who wish to abuse our hospitality by lying about being refugees, begging on our streets, abusing their children while doing so, thieving or committing other crimes.

Deep Cut said...

Maybe a joint blog by you two would be interesting? Just a thought, really entertaining stuff. I love virtual fighting...

seanachie said...

I feel compelled to go even slower. My original point was not about whether immigrants, asylum-seekers or anybody should be allowed to break the law, it was rather taking issue with you indiscriminately labelling people as criminals, or members of the criminal classes, simply because they lied to try to get asylum. Of course that is a criminal offence but people will try it if it is their only option. Thousands of Irish people living in the US are also breaking the law, but I doubt you are so quick to tag them as 'criminals or members of the criminal classes'.

'It sickens me that people in real need of asylum are effectively being denied access to a better life here while people seek to defraud the Irish taxpayer by lying about their non-existent refugee status.'

I agree with the second part of that statement (without stooping to consider all rejected asylum-seekers dangers to society) but what 'people in real need of asylum are being denied access to a better life here'? In order to get refugee status first one has to apply, it's a strange quirk of legal procedure, you know. People in Darfur, Ivory Coast, Uganda or elsewhere are not being deliberately kept out of Ireland. In your original post you suggested 'we take two Aer Lingus planes and fly them to places with known and proven need', a nice idea - sort of Oskar Schindler meets Bob Geldof - but one that would be unlikely to be accepted by even our more interventionist allies and also completely impractical: how would you propose to decide who makes the cut: ask them if they have a criminal record?

Asylum law needs an overhaul - and, as I said, it has already been modified. Personally I would have tried to exploit it if I had the chance. Cut off asylum altogether and people will still break the law to enter the country, often endangering their own lives, as a few Africans I know in Paris have done. Of course they will still be blanketly cast as criminals by people that should know better.

I'm still waiting for those statistics you speak of; until you produce them your six cents are a little devalued. I also suggest you read the link to the statistics I posted earlier if you think that crime has been falling in Ireland over the past fifty years. Please don't talk to me about straw men arguments when you don't even put the effort in to check your facts.

JC Skinner said...

Prisonservice.ie has incercerations by nationality and criminal act for recent years. Compare those stats with the census figures for nationalities living here and voila! You have a comparative per capita figure for crime by nationality.
Now, it seems your opinion is becoming irrelevant, since you've moved from condemning criminality to condoning it, once I demonstrated for you that 97% of Nigerian asylum seekers had broken the law before they'd even settled into the country. You'd do it too? Well, so what? That just means you condone criminality.
I on the other hand do not.
I don't see why any country would object to Ireland pursuing an interventionist emergency asylum policy that was pro-active, especially not our allies. And as Irish NGO staff are invariably on the ground working in most of these places, often for many years, I would trust them, in conjunction with embassy staff where available, to vett those who would be given the chance of a new life.

seanachie said...

Apologies for the late reply. The statistics for 2004 on the Irish Prison Service website, (Prisonservice.ie being a bling link) throw up only a partial picture, as the breakdown of nationalities are nowhere to be seen. There is a breakdown by continent of origin and we are told that 20.4% of the prisoners admitted to prison in 2004 were non-nationals, from 115 different states, i.e. two-thirds of the countries in the world. Add to this the fact that only 60% of those detained were under sentence then the picture is even foggier. The proportion of prisoners on any given day is 9.5%, which tallies quite close to the 10% non-national population recorded in the 2006 census. Of course one must allow for numerous variables on both of those counts but even assuming that there is a slightly disproportionate incarcerated element among non-nationals it proves little other than the fact that immigrants sometimes commit crime, which they do in every country in the world, under different circumstances in each one. To claim that everyone lying on an asylum application is a hardened criminal is still a spurious argument. Removing this asylum option will not stop illegal immigrants - be they real criminals or felons of circumstance (by virtue of not having papers) - from coming to Ireland. They still come to France.

As for condoning crime in the form of lying to get asylum, fair enough, I am, in the same way as I condone Irish people breaking US law to work illegally over there (and for which our own government has long lobbied the US for clemency). I notice that you have studiously avoided addressing this 'criminality' of the Irish in the US and elsewhere. When you consider them criminals and representative of Irish people working abroad I will take seriously your frankly pedantic charge of condoning criminality.

I will leave the last word with you; I don't think either of us is going to succeed in changing the other's point of view. My main argument with your initial post was with its intemperance; to claim that certain immigrant groups in Ireland are composed entirely of criminal classes is not only insulting but unjust, and, as I said dangerous in fomenting ill feeling against immigrants. One needn't step on eggshells when dealing with immigrant crime or support Roma thieves or Nigerian fraudsters out of political correctness. But one should also be careful of using epithets that appear to tar entire communities and nationalities with the same brush.

I owe you an apology too; though I was actually being ingenuous on the first comment when I said that I didn't think you were racist, the wording did seem to give the implication that you were. I could plead the few drinks that I'd had before writing it but I'll accept the carelessness as my own responsibility. So apologies for that. I hope you don't take this lively exchange too personally (I don't) and I'll continue reading your blog as I have been doing for the past few months. I don't agree with everything you say but there have been some great posts, especially the ones on Madeleine McCann and Beverley Flynn. Best of luck; I'm sure I'll be in touch again. :)

JC Skinner said...

OK. I'll take that last word. And I'll try to be brief about it.
My maths re the non-national crime stats indicates that a small but significant proportion of non-nationals are contributing to murder, drug crime and other criminal activity in a disproportionate level to the rest of the population.
I'm happy to be proved incorrect on that, given that my better half is not European, but I suspect I got my sums right.
If you'd like me to go on record condemning those Irish nationals who breach US law, then I'm happy to do so. I thought I already had, but if you didn't think I'd been clear enough, then please let me do so now.
In short, I do not consider it acceptable for people from an affluent country like Ireland to seek economic sanctuary in another country anymore than I consider it legitimate for people from countries which are safe and at peace, like Romania or Nigeria, to seek asylum here under false pretences.
Finally, I'd like to clarify two points. I do NOT consider all people seeking asylum, or all people who have arrived in this country from elsewhere to be criminals. I've got friends from many countries and deeply respect the courage required for them to seek and make a new life for themselves abroad.
My issue is the abuse of the asylum system, which cheats those in real need out of their chance to obtain such a new life. And also the disgust I feel for those, like these Roma, who have demonstrated that they are willing to beg, thieve and demand accommodation at the Irish taxpayers' expense, despite having four figure sums in the bank and apartments at home.
Also, I'd like to say I've greatly enjoyed this debate. It's always important and useful to challenge one's beliefs against an intelligent and strenuous opponent. I've appreciated that immensely, and look forward to doing so again some time soon.
I certainly wouldn't take your disagreement personally. I take it as a compliment, rather, that you would deign to debate with me.
Let's hope it happens again soon!

ian said...

Could we not keep these people in the country, but make them wear special symbols on their clothes so that they would be easily recognisable? Or maybe we could collaborate with other countries in organising special fenced off settlement areas for them. I gather this method was used with some success by some countries in the last century.

Anonymous said...

Excellently said, Jc skinner.
Though I would say time for a new government, not just a new immigration system.

Unfortunately, once again, your legitimate and well thought out concern is replied to by ridiculous allusions to the nazi's.
Shame on you the poster called Ian.

Random Joe said...

I'm with Ian on this one