Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Immigration Bill 2008 Objection to the lot

Immigration Bill 2008
Commenting on this bill was a nightmare experience and a blow to the Constitutional rights of the Irish citizen.It is not too late to make amendments and address issues of interest.
The Muslim Lobby Ireland would like to remind the Fianna Fail party and Junior Minister Conor Lenihan TD to whom we pledged support and voted for in the 2007 election, that he promised to help immigrants not make life hell for them in Ireland.
We are demanding that Fianna Fail fulfil their responsibility for integration by stopping this Bill or seriously amending it, which further discriminates against non nationals in the State.
The Bill requires foreign nationals who are legally resident in the State to carry new permit cards. This is an infringement of civil liberties, and this will not give a chance for the integration of non nationals, as it acts as a discriminatory measure.
What the Bill should do, is to deal with irregular immigrants with tough measures without breaching the UN refugee and human rights conventions. This Government has called for a visa amnesty for those Irish immigrants who are under similar circumstances in other parts of the world, like those in the USA. Would they like to see these Irish citizens, being dealt with as harshly as this Bill proposes to deal with irregular immigrants in Ireland?
The Bill is "aimed at cutting down the opportunity for marriages of convenience for immigration purposes." Restrictions on marriage might bring hardship to both foreign and native people wishing to marry partners of their own choice.
Difficulties to immigrants and their families
The Bill, gives wide-ranging powers of arrest and detention to a member of the Garda Siochána of an immigrant failing to make reasonable efforts to establish his or her true identity.This is contrary to the human right conventions.
Landing in the State and applying for asylum is a right of any asylum seeker. People should not be sent to a country where their lives or liberty would be in danger, without an opportunity to claim protection.
Family Reunification:
The new bill will seriously limit the freedom of Irish citizens to marry non-EU nationals and bring their spouses into the country.Family members in the State should be granted residency rights.
Ireland is the only member of the EU not to have primary legislation covering this issue of family reunification on the human and constitutional rights of migrants and their family members.
Those who come to live, work and pay taxes in Ireland should be entitled to family reunion as people who deserve to have a normal family life. This is in accordance with removing isolation and suffering, which act as barriers to integration.
The fact that the Minister has the power to deport a person from Ireland without any right of appeal, is in itself is a breach of the constitutional and UN convention rights for asylum seekers. You might as well open a Guantanamo detention centre in Ireland and import the Americans to torture detainees and interrogate them.
This is utterly not right.We ask the Minister to consider seriously changing such displacement of the law.
We draw the Minister's attention that the right of appeal is granted for every human to be heard again, if he/she feels unjustly treated. An appeal mechanism should be initiated through an independent appeals body for all immigration and asylum-related applications.Also victims of exploitation and human trafficking should be addressed in a humane manner, bearing in mind people never flee their country unless they have genuine political or economical or social problems.
Powers to remove detainees

The Muslim Lobby Ireland, is outraged with regard to the power given to the Gardai to detain asylum seekers in centres and police stations.This can give Ireland a bad image internationally. It can also prevent Ireland meeting its international human rights obligations, in particular to those seeking protection, from current war zones, natural disasters and persecution.
The power concentrated in the hands of the Minister and the Gardai is beyond reasonable standards.
Most legal immigrants, (those with status and still seeking status) are law abiding and trying their hardest to make the best of the chance which has been given to them, (refugee status or otherwise) to piece their life together again. Therefore, not much threat actually comes from such people. Hence the safety and security of the State is preserved. There is no excuse to extradite a person on security grounds unless substantial evidence is at hand.With this Bill the legal principle 'innocent until proven guilty' is not substantiated, as an asylum seeker may be deported on the basis of unfounded allegations that are made against them.Also, the Bill states that an individual who has been 'charged with any crime or offence' can be deported, giving more power to the Minister and Gardai.Reading between the lines of section 5 of the Bill suspicion alone may give adequate reason for the arrest and detention of non nationals. This is contrary to the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Breaching constitutional rights:
The Bill can give more power to those officials in government to abuse the law. Also the Bill infringes on the constitutional rights of the native Irish citizen in their choice of who they would like to marry. The implementation of the Bill would also incur additional costs over what the immigration process cost is now.