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News Archive 2007» Nigerians guilty of welfare fraud
» College director arrested in Garda immigration inquiry
» Empty plane leaves for Lagos as 300 evade deportation orders
» Accusations of Institutional Racism
» Worker claims inequality because he is Irish
» ISLAM: Fastest Growing Religion in Ireland
» Riots in Paris Suburbs
» Whereabouts of 5,600 illegal immigrants unknown
» Study points to 'white flight' in Dublin 15
» Level of immigration 'underestimated'
» Taoiseach Admits Immigration Could Not Continue at Current Levels
» Ireland Remains the Preferred Destination for Most Nigerian Asylum Seekers
» Over 3,000 PPS Numbers Issued to Romanians in January
» Dick Spring Gets to the Nub of the Question
» Economic Growth May not Grow Your Wallet
» 9,000 Illegal Immigrants Evade Deportation
» The chilling response of Michael McDowell to 9,000 on the run from deportation
» The Tip of the Chinese Iceberg? Seven Chinese "Disappear" on bail
» A Staggering 33% Of Rent Allowances Go To Non-nationals
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Nigerians guilty of welfare fraud
'Court ‘spellbound’ by evidence of €50,000 welfare fraud'
FOUR Nigerian nationals were before Castlebar District Court last week defending charges of making false representations to claim social welfare worth in excess of €50,000. Two of them Morris Agboerha and Ishola Aramide were also charged with using another person’s PPS number to gain employment.
Stephany and Morris Agboerha, a married couple with two children living at 49 Blackfort Manor in Castlebar, and Ishola and Oluwakemi Aramide, separated parents of five children who live three doors apart at numbers 17 and 20 The Willows, Springfield, Castlebar, were brought to court by the Department of Social and Family affairs on foot of an investigation into welfare fraud which took place in 2004 and 2005.
Presiding judge, Mary Devins, said the court was ‘spellbound’ by the evidence in the case.
“While you were defrauding this country, our country, you were seeking residency here. I will not send you to prison as that will only cost the State more. I’d be as well off to put you all up in the Four Seasons for a month. This court is spellbound by the evidence it just heard. It was well worth €6,000 to travel here and be looked after and coddled and receive all this money from the State,” she said.
Stephany and Morris Agboerha received almost €18,000 in benefits from the state while Ishola and Oluwakemi Aramide claimed €33,000 between August 2004 and December 2005.
College director arrested in Garda immigration inquiry
The director of a private third-level college in Dublin was arrested yesterday by gardaí investigating suspected bogus institutions aimed at foreign students, The Irish Times has learned.
The man was arrested early yesterday morning and held at Balbriggan Garda station before being released at 4pm.
The college he runs, which charges non-European students €4,800 for courses in computer studies, business, accountancy and tourism, was one of two raided by officers from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) last week.
Yesterday's arrest is the latest under Operation Feather, which was set up in March to investigate reports of "brass plate" or front companies that provide foreign students with false documents for visa applications. Another director of a private college supposedly specialising in management and IT was arrested in April and his school was closed down.
It is understood gardaí have in some cases been tipped off by students who were duped into paying up to €5,000 for courses that were not provided, or at institutions that had no physical presence at their registered address.
In one case, students were told they had to pay up to €2,000 to obtain the attendance documents required for a student visa renewal.
Though non-European students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week, the GNIB believes a significant number who enter the State on student visas come with the intention of working full-time.
However, sources stressed that their operations were aimed at the directors of colleges and not at the students, the great majority of whom had believed they would be attending reputable colleges and had suffered considerable financial loss.
Supt John O'Driscoll of the GNIB said "suspicions currently exist in relation to a number of colleges" and investigations had revealed suspected breaches of the Immigration Act, 2004, which deals with an individual's permission to be in the State, and the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act, 2000, which suggests there may be people-smuggling involved.
The man detained yesterday was arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Files are being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to this and other arrests made over recent months.
© 2007 The Irish Times
Empty plane leaves for Lagos as 300 evade deportation orders
OVER 300 people avoided deportation to Nigeria last week, on a flight that eventually carried just nine people to Lagos.
The Department of Justice had intended to deport 348 people. Of these 175 did not report to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) as requested. A further 164 people due for deportation obtained injunctions against being deported in the courts, or were not deported for a variety of reasons including "absence of travel documents, medical issues (persons deemed by medical practitioners to be unfit to travel) and previously undisclosed children in respect of whom recent asylum applications were made", according to a Department of Justice spokesman.
Last updated: 14/12/07
If Michael Woods and Barry Andrews of Fianna Fáil had their way there would only have been 8 deported as they tried to prevent one deportation. In the fight against asylum abuse and illegal immigration Irish citizens have been abandoned by both government and opposition.
Worker claims inequality because he is Irish
Tribunal set to launch a landmark inquiry
A worker has asked the Equality Tribunal to investigate a claim of discrimination -- claiming he has been discriminated against because he's Irish.
The landmark case has been taken by a worker in Clones, Co Monaghan who claims he couldn't get a job in the AIBP meat processing plant because of his nationality. Alan McDonnell of the Equality Tribunal said he could not remember any previous cases where an Irish person claimed they were discriminated against by an Irish company.
He said that once the equality officer is satisfied with the admissibility of the complaint, they will offer mediation first, and if that fails, an investigation and private hearing will be carried out.
Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions in Monaghan, Peter McAleer, said he was aware of the case, but stressed that it wasn't a racist issue.
"I know of Irish people who are not being considered for jobs. Their applications are being ignored while many people from different countries are being recruited."
But he added that there were fears that incidents of Irish people not being considered for work could create racism and resentment in the local community."I would be concerned that if the dole queues are full of Irish people and all employment is given to non-nationals we may have a situation similar to France where racism and resentment was created," he maintains.
Following a recent investment of €10m at the plant, AIBP recently announced its intention to fill 120 new positions by August 2008 in addition to the 100 already employed at the factory.
The company is headed by beef baron Larry Goodman and has an annual turnover in excess of €1bn, in addition to being Europe's largest beef producer.
A spokesperson for AIBP said: "AIBP declines to comment and such matters are between the company and its employees."
ISLAM: Fastest Growing Religion in Ireland
Islam has become the fastest growing religion in Ireland.
The 2002 census indicated that there were just 18,000 Muslims resident in the Republic of Ireland. By 2006 this figure had jumped to almost 32,500 an increase of just over 70%, reflecting asylum and immigration arrivals here from Africa and Asia.
Riots in Paris Suburbs
Nearly 80 French police officers have been injured, six seriously, during a second night of riots by youths in the suburbs of Paris, police unions say.
The police say some officers suffered bullet wounds, while others were hurt by stones, fireworks and petrol bombs thrown at them in Villiers-le-Bel.
The youths said they were avenging the two teenagers killed when their motorcycle hit a police car on Sunday.
A senior union official said the riots had been more intense than in 2005.
The 2005 unrest, sparked by the accidental deaths of two youths, spread from a nearby suburb of Paris to other cities and continued for three weeks, during which more than 10,000 cars were set ablaze and 300 buildings firebombed.
Whereabouts of 5,600 illegal immigrants unknown
The whereabouts of more than 5,600 foreign nationals who have been the subject of deportation orders remain unknown to gardai, according to new Department of Justice figures.
The figures show that more than 11,200 deportation orders have been handed down to foreign nationals since 2002.Of those, just over 2,400 have been carried out.
The state has spent more than €1 million a year on chartered flights to deport failed asylum seekers and those who have remained in the state without proper documentation.
There has been a gradual decline in the number of deportation orders issued in the past five years, with a comparable decline in the actual number of deportation orders effected.
The highest number of deportation orders were issued between 2002 to 2004.More than 2,400 orders were issued in the first two years, and almost 3,000 in 2004.
In each of these years, the number of people actually deported ranged between 520 and 590.
Just under 1,900 deportation orders were issued in 2005, of which 396 were carried out.
Last year, the number of orders issued fell to 1,566 and the number of people deported fell to a five-year low of 302.
Study points to 'white flight' in Dublin 15
A Government-funded study on schooling in Dublin 15 identifies evidence of the phenomenon of "white flight" for the first time in the State.
The report found that in some places there is evidence of the emergence of "ghettos" inhabited only by ethnic minorities, and it calls for action from Government and local authorities to avert the problems found in other European cities.
By tracking pupils' movements over a number of years, the report found "quite a serious and significant trend of Irish moving out and immigrants moving in". Of 1,414 pupils leaving school in 2005-06, for instance, 518 left before reaching sixth class.
"This figure is equivalent to an astonishing 58 per cent of those transferring to postprimary schools," the authors write.A breakdown of the data shows that, of those who left in the period 2003-07, 47 per cent were described as "Irish" and 53 per cent as "non-Irish" (defined as those whose parents were born outside the country).
But of those who joined, only 21 per cent were categorised as "Irish" and 79 per cent "non-Irish".
The report blames housing policies and the dynamics of the property market. Rapid development of new private housing in this part of north Dublin has led to a proliferation of rented homes, it points out.
© 2007 ireland.com
Level of immigration 'underestimated'
"Minister of State for integration Conor Lenihan has said that he believes last year's census gave a "serious underestimate" of the number of foreign nationals living in the State.
It was "pretty much acknowledged" in Government circles that the level of immigration was higher than that set out in official figures, and he speculated that non-Irish nationals could account for 13-15 per cent of the population. Asked if he thought that immigration would continue at current rates, Mr Lenihan said: "Yes, and in fact a most interesting feature is the actual levels that are being reported by the Central Statistics Office are a serious underestimate of the number of [ non-Irish] people."
Taoiseach Admits Immigration Could Not Continue at Current Levels
Speaking to Matt Cooper on The Last Word the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern admitted that immigration could not continue at the levels of the last 10 years and admitted that perhaps another percentage point ,from 10% to 11% was as far as we could go.
Taoiseach: "Our capacity to continue or to move beyond the 10% figure,I would have grave doubts about that.I'm not saying you can't go to 11.You can't go as we have done in a decade from probably 2% to 10 and in the next decade go from 10 to 20."
Matt Cooper: "So does that mean we have enough immigrants who have come to the country at this stage, as far as you are concerned?"
Taoiseach: "I think the numbers that we'll be able to take in in the next 10 years will not be able to match the numbers that came in in the last 10 years and I think that is self-evident.There is no country or at least very few countries with our size and capabilities would end up with 20% of the workforce non-Irish."
Ireland Remains the Preferred Destination for Most Nigerian Asylum Seekers
This small peripheral island continues to attract more Nigerian asylum seekers than any other country in the world! This, despite the fact that there are no direct transport links in existence between the two or even despite the lengthy and expensive journeys necessary to get here.
For example, Ireland over the past seven years has processed 250% more Nigerian asylum applications than did the UK., a country which by the way does operate regularly scheduled air connections. What is all the more bizarre is the fact that 80% of Nigerian asylum applicants reportedly turn up here claiming to have no passports!
Nigerian Asylum Applications (Source UNHCR)
Nigerian Asylum Applications (Source UNHCR)
Over 3,000 PPS Numbers Issued to Romanians in January
The number of Romanians arriving into Ireland has risen dramatically since the beginning of the year, with a total of 3,164 allocated Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers last month.
The numbers arriving here represent a dramatic increase over last year when just 813 Romanians were allocated PPS numbers during all of 2006. A total of 591 were allocated PPS numbers in 2005.
The only former EU accession country allocated more PPS numbers than Romania last month was Poland, with 5,756 recipients.
Romanians and Bulgarians continue to require work permits, while firms wishing to hire them have to prove they cannot get staff from other EU states.However, it's clear some are getting around this restriction. Under EU law, if Romanians or Bulgarians are self-employed they can remain here indefinitely.'Given the increase in the number of sub-contractors working in construction, it is likely that this sector will be one of the main sources of employment for Romanians' said FAS economist, Brian McCormick.
Dick Spring Gets to the Nub of the Question
On the Marian Finucane show on Feb 11 Dick Spring called for a debate on immigration. This time, however, it was a genuine call to address the numbers issue and not a mere discussion of integration policy as we had got from Enda Kenny.
It comes down, said Spring to "what number of people we can actually cope with. I don't know what Brendan Drumm, the H.S.E., is feeling about 200,000 more people to provide services for at a time when the health services are in crisis and will be for a long time to come."
Economic Growth May not Grow Your Wallet
Figures accompanying an article by Colum Keena in The Irish Times of Feb 10 show very clearly that economic growth fuelled by mass immigration does not necessarily improve the individual's economic situation. In the 5 year period 2000-2005 GNP increased 54.8%. Per capita GNP only rose 12.9%.Surely one would expect that level of increase if we had no immigration.
9,000 Illegal Immigrants Evade Deportation
More than 9,000 non-nationals facing deportation from Ireland are currently missing and on the run and An Garda Siochána have no idea where they are, new Department of Justice figures reveal.
The authorities have admitted they have no idea how many deportation evaders have remained in the country.
The Gardaí have said they have little hope of tracking down deportation evaders unless they are picked up for committing criminal offences.
The majority of deportation orders signed are not put into effect.
Since 2001, over 11,680 deportation orders have been signed but only 2,472 have been put into effect.
These new figures from the Department of Justice show that in the past 5 years 9,208 non-nationals have evaded deportation and remain illegally in this country.
Of the deportation orders signed, more than half were for Nigerian nationals, who are failed / bogus asylum seekers.
The news comes as it emerged last week that the number of passports reported stolen in Ireland has doubled in five years.
It is believed that many "lost" passports are used by criminals to hide their true identity.
The figures for asylum applications & deportations are available here on our bulletin board
The chilling response of Michael McDowell to 9,000 on the run from deportation
In an interview with Liz Ryan in the Irish Daily Mail on January 20th, Michael McDowell was asked to comment on the fact that over 9,000 people were on the run from deportation orders. His unbelievably dismissive response was "So, they've moved on. It's not the State's business to chase them".
The Tip of the Chinese Iceberg? Seven Chinese "Disappear" on bail
Seven Chinese illegals, stopped at Cork Airport on October 31st 2006 were detained in prison, pending the establishment of their identities. On January 3rd Judge Uinsin MacGruairc, unhappy to extend their 9 weeks detention, although enquiries were ongoing, allowed bail for all seven, to appear again in court on January 10th. All seven jumped bail.
Notwithstanding an enlarged and enlarging EU and one with a "neighbourhood" policy, there is a Chinese population in Ireland estimated at up to 100,000.
A Staggering 33% Of Rent Allowances Go To Non-nationals
A recent working group report on the rent allowance scheme from the Department of Social Affairs has thrown up some remarkable figures. 33% of rent allowances go to non-nationals though they constitute,it is estimated, about 10% of the population. Nigerians receive 9% of allowances, British 6% and Romanians 2%.