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Asylum seekers ordered to leave

Thursday, 21st September, 2017 9:26am

A Cork charity has been contacted by seven asylum seekers ordered to vacate direction provision, the Cork Independent has learned.

“We have had seven asylum seekers with deportation orders come to us with these letters issued by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of the Department of Justice,” said Jennifer DeWan, Campaigns and Communications Manager with Cork charity Nasc.

The charity, who provide support for migrants and ethnic minorities, claims the RIA has issued the letters to certain single, male asylum seekers around Ireland.

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NASC claims this amounts to a major policy shift which will leave people homeless and without any form of State protection.

Ms DeWan said that their figure of seven was not indicative of how many letters had been sent out nationally.

She did say however that the high demographic of single, male asylum seekers means more people will likely to come forward.

Ms DeWan said there was currently no remedy for those with letters.

She said: “From our perspective there is no immediate solution if these people are forced to leave the Direct Provision centres. They will have no access to homeless shelters, social payments, Direct Provision Allowance or have any entitlement to work. In many cases their passport has expired or is being held. They will be in a really vulnerable position.”

She also said efforts were being made to ensure the letters were not acted upon by the Department and hoped to set up a meeting in the next few days.

She continued: “We haven’t received any response from the Department of Justice as of yet but we hope to meet to ensure these people can stay for the time being.”

Ms DeWan said Nasc were even questioning the legality of such orders on individuals who had been given deportation orders for countries Ireland cannot deport to:

“Some deportation notices simply cannot be valid in our minds as people cannot be deported to certain countries like Palestine and Somalia. Legality aside, it’s just unbelievably cruel.”

Her comments echoed those of Nasc Legal Services Manager Fiona Hurley, who said: “Up until now, RIA has housed asylum seekers on deportation orders – some for upwards of seven or more years. This letter shows a catastrophic shift in policy, which will actively make those on deportation orders that have not been effected by the State at severe risk of homelessness and destitution.”

A statement from NASC said that the letter being issued to residents states that the RIA has no role in the provision of accommodation to persons once a decision has been made on their application.

 

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