Historical Emigration from Ireland as an Argument for Welcoming Immigrants:
Irish people, in common with people from all over Europe and from outside Europe, went to the New World when they emigrated. This New World was thought of, improperly perhaps, as "terra nullius", nobody's land, open to habitation by newcomers. America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand are countries founded almost exclusively on relatively recent migrations. This is not the case with Europe. The EU, not just Ireland, has denied that it is an area of immigration.
Immigration from Ireland to Britain is a complex matter and one which justifies no arguments for immigration. It is hardly surprising that having been subsumed into the British polity and economy for so long and given its proximity that an economic pull would continue after independence. Arguments from such emigration to justify opening oneself to immigration from outside the EU are little more than eccentric.
::back to top::
The Geneva Convention relating to Refugees (1951):
Two groups tend to be the only people who are familiar with the Geneva Convention -
a.) so-called "human rights activists" and so-called "human rights" lawyers and
b.) government administrators.
Group a.) mentions only the aspects and articles of the Convention that suit them. They point to the part of Article 1 which proclaims the duty of giving refuge to a refugee as there defined. They never point to the fact that it declares that this applies only to people who became refugees before 1951 !! (This was expanded by the New York Protocol in 1967, but this does not take from the fact that the "sacred document" which is the Geneva Convention was never intended to apply to today's world). The main refugee - producing countries of today did not even exist as separate countries at that time.
Groups such as these will point to the non-refoulement article (Article:33) which says that one must not return someone to a country where his life or freedom would be threatened but never to the part of Article 1 which says that when the circumstances which made someone seek asylum have changed in their home country, the Convention ceases to apply to them (in other words they may then be sent back). Group b.), government administrators, are too afraid of political correctness and of the articulate pro-asylum minority in their country to mention the matters mentioned above.
::back to top::
Right to Work:
The idea of giving asylum-seekers the right to work is a very short term view. The long term view has to be the view which takes precedence in relation to asylum/immigration if we are not to go down the road which has brought other European countries to their present unenviable position of large-scale immigration problems.
A speeding-up of asylum processing should weaken the arguments about the social welfare cost. Anything which serves to make Ireland more attractive for asylum-seekers has to be avoided given the acknowledged fact that the asylum-process is widely abused as an immigration stratagem. Arguments relating to labour-market shortages are ill-founded. The EU currently has an unemployment rate of 10%-11% which it sees as a major problem. It is inconceivable that a country which constitutes 1% of the population of the EU should need to look outside that common labour market. It has been said of the EU that labour mobility is low. The language problem is cited as a major contributor to this. However, English is the common language of the business world and the language most likely to be held as a second language by Europeans. This means that Ireland faces less problems in enticing workers than many other EU countries. Note the remarks of Dutch companies which when recruiting from Ireland explained that they would have less trouble with English speakers from Ireland than with Portuguese recruits, for example. It is difficult to believe that employers have genuinely made efforts to recruit from the EU labour pool. The pressure from them is far more likely to arise from a combination of laziness in wishing to target the pool of asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants already here and the hope of getting away with low wages. Short term profit rather than an unselfish view of the long term future of the country is likely to be their motivation.
A second reason for not allowing asylum-seekers to work while their applications are being processed is that on current figures 90% or so are refused. If they have been working they will have become embedded in society and are likely to be strengthened in their resistance to subsequent legitimate efforts to deport them. They will also have established links with people whom they will recruit to aid them in that resistance. Individuals tend to see only the specific case they know without thinking of the long-term immigrant build-up even when they themselves would not wish such a build-up.
::back to top::
Accusations of Institutional Racism:
Asylum-lobbyists have made quite unacceptable accusations of institutional racism in relation, for example, to immigration controls. Unless one is to rigorously check every passenger it is obvious that one will have to concentrate checks on groups which represent the areas which experience shows are targeting the country for illegal immigration purposes. This is no more than to use the sort of actuarial procedures prevalent in the insurance industry for example; in other words based on probability calculations. It is quite in order to exercise a sensitivity by operating some sort of rule of thumb that for example, every time one checked an African or East European passenger one would do the same with a West European, American or whatever. But efforts to undermine the legitimate actuarial basis of checks should be dismissed out of hand.
::back to top::
There has been an almost overnight and unthinking blossoming of the view among a politically-correct minority that we are on our way to a multicultural society whether we like it or not. This flies in the face of our sovereignty which outside of the EU is total in regard to immigration. The degree to which we wish to be multicultural or homogeneous is one for the people of Ireland to decide. The change to a multicultural society would be a fundamental and enormous change for this society, one on a par with independence or joining the EU, arguably greater. It is one which demands enormous debate before the choice, not the announcement of a fait accompli. Further, the implication is very strongly made that this is a moral choice; that a multicultural society is a moral imperative. It is, of course, no such thing, but a very political choice.
Large-scale immigration has brought enormous social upheaval to France, Germany, Britain and other European countries. Shorn of political correctness, an unblinkered society would seek to avoid such a fate. The only way to do so is to pursue a rigorous policy of immigration control from the outset because it is a simple fact that each immigrant has an incremental effect. They serve as a model and focus of attraction for others from their communities of origin. Just as the Kurds who enter Europe head for Kurdish communities in Germany, for example, where they can get lost in the larger group; just as the Boston Irish formed a focus for new emigrants so will a Romanian or Nigerian community act in the same manner here.
As regards the philosophy to be applied to whatever immigration occurs there are two possible philosophies:
Some countries historically favour a.) e.g. USA and France; some favour b) e.g. Canada and Britain. Perhaps because of our proximity to Britain and the influence of things like her "development education" on ours, there seems to be an unthinking presumption that in so far as we may have an immigrant population, philosophy b.) will apply. Again, this is a matter of enormous importance on which instead of a considered debate a fait accompli is announced by a vocal clique.
::back to top::
In other European countries we have seen a vocal minority bully and intimidate government into pursuing the immigration policies they favour. In France, for example, those who support the sans papiers do not represent the majority but have a disproportionate impact. The same process is in danger of occurring here. While acknowledging the difficulty in wording polling questions there is no doubt that on a spectrum ranging from soft to rigorous in matters of asylum and immigration the majority of the population favours rigour. Politicians who cannot but be aware of feeling on the ground owe it to society to implement the policies of the well-named "silent majority" as opposed to the enormously determined and networking "vocal minority". This is a fundamental question of democracy.
::back to top::
Asylum: Theory and Practice:
In theory the asylum-process works as follows: applications are processed; those who are granted refugee status remain; those who fail the process leave. The current rate of acceptance is around 10% in Ireland and in Europe generally. So in theory, 10% of asylum-seekers stay; 90% leave. It is fair to say that one allows an asylum-process on the basis that this will be the result, i.e. all failed asylum-seekers will leave. If this process does not generally operate the process cannot be allowed to continue.
(In this context it should be noted that all states which are signed up to the Geneva Convention have the right under Article 44 to give 12 months notice and withdraw from it).
Does the theory operate in fact? The answer is a resounding "No". In all European countries the experience is that the vast majority of failed asylum-seekers remain on anyway. There are several reasons for this. Most of them have no proper papers, having travelled without papers, with false papers (which they then admit as false) or having destroyed their papers deliberately. This makes them effectively undeportable. You cannot get on a plane without papers and the government cannot put you on a plane without them. There are strategies such as readmission agreements but they are far from solving the problem to the full degree. Secondly, people "go underground" and remain illegally. The bigger the size of the immigrant population the easier it is to do this. Ireland is especially vulnerable because, almost uniquely, a person who has a child while here cannot be deported. This last fact justifies enormous rigour on Ireland's part in regard to immigration control because of the handicaps we suffer in this area.
In short the asylum-process works in fact like this. The magic word "Asylum" a) gets you into Ireland - you only to have utter the word and you can't be turned away - and b) because of the circumstances described above it almost totally guarantees that you will stay on whether your application succeeds or fails.
This is institutionalised madness and we should not be afraid to say so.
::back to top::
Confusion of terms "asylum-seeker" and "refugee":
It has become very common to confuse these terms. Some of it is media sloppiness but more of it is a deliberate attempt by asylum-lobbyists to confuse the terms. The reason is that "refugee" is a term which implies genuineness and evokes sympathy. An asylum-seeker however has not established his/her bona fides. They could be anywhere on a spectrum from a criminal fleeing the law in their own state to an economic migrant to a genuine refugee case. If 90% are generally refused is this not the same as saying 90% are not genuine? But asylum-lobbyists wish to give the impression that all are entitled to stay. They are opposed in principle to deportation. In other words their policy is one of open borders.
The abuse of the asylum-process and illegal immigration of all types is the modern form of invasion. Those who support it are quislings and should be named as such.
::back to top::
Church and Development Groups:
The Churches in this country and the development groups are pushing the view, constantly, that asylum / immigration is a moral matter and that it is our moral duty to pursue a soft line on this.
This is not the case. It is a political question and recognised as such all over Europe.
Basically the Churches message is "we are all God's children; we are all destined to be together in the Kingdom of God".
This of course has nothing to do with how we arrange political matters here on earth.
In "What the Bible Says about the Stranger", produced under the auspices of the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace and the Irish Council of Churches, we are told that the bible speaks of "the removal of ethnic boundaries in the Kingdom". Yes, in the Kingdom of Heaven, not in earthly kingdoms or republics!
This is a deeply political matter and in such matters Irish people have always been sophisticated enough to say "you have the say in spiritual matters; we have the say in political matters".
::back to top::