The obscenity of Irish immigration law

November 28th, 2004 | by aobaoill |

Following last week’s article on the claim that Ireland is the ‘best’ place to live, this week’s Observer has a piece on the manner in which many citizens are being denied the right to live in Ireland. Specifically, those children who hold Irish citizenship, but whose parents are the subject of deportation orders (typically because their claims for asylum have failed). As happens so often the Irish government ‘doesn’t do body counts’ of how many children have been effectively deported with their parents. [The children are not actually the subject of deportation orders, and can stay in the country and be put in care, but this is not always made clear to their parents – nor, one would presume, would it usually be a satisfactory solution.] There have also been anecdotal claims of children’s passports being withheld or destroyed – denied or dismissed of course, but who knows?
As always, the personalised stories are the most upsetting. Take for example this family’s story:

The pair keep in close contact with other members of the Romanian community in Ireland, many of whom are also fearful of being deported with their Irish-born children. Adrian, who is a choral singer by profession, says the practicalities of taking Matei back to Romania, are also worrying.
‘Firstly, he doesn’t speak Romanian. Also, he’s not a citizen there so we will have to get a monthly visa for him while we apply for citizenship. That costs EUR60 each month in a country where the average monthly wage is EUR100. There’s also no guarantee that he will be granted a Romanian passport.’

Or this recently deported father’s situation:

‘We have no money, the children are malnourished and have been in hospital twice. At this point, if they allow us, we will send them back to Ireland alone, so that they may be put up for adoption. That’s the decision my wife and I have made as we believe it’s the best thing for the children.

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