Monday, April 21, 2008

Lenihan to make 200 changes to Bill

According to today's Irish Times, the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan, is preparing major changes to the forthcoming Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill. The changes are said to include removing the requirement for non-EEA residents to obtain the consent of the Minister before marriage, multiple re-entry visas for 60,000 non-EEA nationals, and more liberal regulations for "family reunification" drawing on the Canadian model which allows an EEA national to "sponsor" one relative to become a permanent-resident.

However, the Government is reportedly less willing to amend provisions in the Bill relating to asylum-seekers. The original Bill was to include an end to compulsory tip-offs by the Gardai to would-be deportees of the dates of their deportation (which led to many asylum-seekers going underground to evade deportation), provisions for costs to be awarded against lawyers engaging in "frivolous or vexatious" appeals, provisions for detention of illegal-immigrants, and for the removal of failed asylum-seekers regardless of legal-proceedings relating to their cases.

In this post-911 world, and bearing in mind the pressure population-pressures are having on the health-service, school overcrowding, crime, job-displacement and traffic-congestion, it is imperative that the Minister stand his ground on the latter issues in particular. When one considers the 80% yes vote for the Citizenship Referendum, together with the persistant polling evidence that the public wants a tougher asylum-system, it becomes all the more important that this be so. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that small, unrepresentative, and unelected lobby-groups like the Irish Refugee Council have wielded disproportionate influence relative both to their size and the levels of societal agreement with their aims. By all means allow them to lobby, but not to dictate to the elected government of this country.


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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You use too-many hyphens.

Anonymous said...

"It is hard to avoid the conclusion that small, unrepresentative, and unelected lobby-groups ... have wielded disproportionate influence relative both to their size and the levels of societal agreement with their aims. By all means allow them to lobby, but not to dictate to the elected government of this country."

I take it you're against the likes of Libertas then?

FutureTaoiseach said...

Well anon the near unanimity of the Dail parties in their support for Lisbon does not suggest to me that Libertas is wielding disproportionate influence over them.

Anonymous said...

"frivolous or vexatious" appeals - Just like evidentiary technicalities, obviously no role at all for appeals to unfair, non public tribunals and questionable decisions. If a decision is being judicially reviewed for any which reason it still stands that there are serious arguments regarding the decision and the way in which it was arrived at. Whether it be on the nub of the issue or on a matter of procedure these vexatious appeals are still appeals on matters of law and therefore within the HC's constitutional jurisdiction, as you well know.


"the removal of failed asylum-seekers regardless of legal-proceedings relating to their cases" - And what happens when these seemingly irrelevant proceedings go to court are found on the side of the now deported "failed asylum-seekers" who are quite possibly dead, if we keep deporting to such safe countries as Somalia and Chad, and who will have won the right to a new hearing before the RAT or RAC?