Skip to content

Ireland takes stand against influx of asylum seekers from Northern Ireland

Ireland takes stand against influx of asylum seekers from Northern Ireland
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 28, 2024 11:02 PM

Ireland’s Prime Minister, Simon Harris, vows to take decisive action against an increase in asylum seekers crossing the border from Northern Ireland

In a stern message delivered on Sunday, Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris asserted that Dublin would take decisive action to address an increase in asylum seekers crossing over from Northern Ireland, the British territory adjacent to its border.

Harris emphasized that Ireland would not tolerate being exploited as a “loophole” for other nations’ immigration agendas. His remarks echoed a recent report by broadcaster RTE, revealing Ireland’s intentions to amend existing laws to facilitate the return of asylum seekers to the United Kingdom.

Minister of Justice Helen McEntee, set to visit London on Monday, disclosed to a parliamentary committee last week that approximately 80 percent of asylum seekers in the republic had entered via the land border with Northern Ireland.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, speaking on Sky News on Sunday, interpreted this trend as evidence of the effectiveness of London’s strategy to divert asylum seekers to Rwanda. He suggested that the policy served as a deterrent to individuals attempting to seek asylum in the UK.

Responding to Sunak’s remarks, Harris underscored the sovereign right of each nation to formulate its own migration policies. However, he emphasized that Ireland would not permit the immigration policies of other countries to compromise its own integrity.

“We’re going to await the full details of that but it’s one which will effectively allow, again, people to be returned to the United Kingdom. And I think that’s quite appropriate,” Harris stated, referencing the proposed changes to Irish law aimed at facilitating the return of asylum seekers.

A spokesperson for Harris affirmed Ireland’s commitment to a rules-based system, emphasizing the necessity of applying immigration laws firmly and fairly.

McEntee is scheduled to discuss the new returns policy during her meeting with UK Interior Minister James Cleverly in London on Monday.

The UK’s contentious Rwanda bill, designed to discourage asylum seekers from crossing the Channel from northern Europe via small boats, recently cleared its final parliamentary hurdle after protracted debates between the upper and lower chambers.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:50 PM