June 18, 2024
No sense in government’s all-in approach to EU Migration Pact – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has said that the government’s all-in approach to the EU Migration Pact makes no sense.

Speaking following today’s Dáil debate on the pact, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“Where Sinn Féin stands on the issue of migration is where the vast bulk of Irish people stand. What we believe in is common sense and common decency.

“Most people recognise that where people are genuinely fleeing war, and oppression, that they deserve protection and support. Most Irish people also recognise that migrants who arrive here make a huge contribution to Irish society.

“We must recognise the dignity and humanity of each person and they must be treated with decency. Most people also, I believe, agree that this must be on the basis of rules, and that where there are rules that these rules must be applied. They want to see resources prioritised to those who need them most. It is clear that resources are currently scarce and under severe pressure.

“People do not want to see a migration system that is not managed. They do not want to see a system that is slow and inefficient, and fails to follow through.

“They want to see a system that is fair, efficient and enforced.

“Rules must be followed up on and adhered to, and where someone is deemed not to be genuinely in need of international protection, that they be returned.

“There is no sense in the government’s all-in approach to this migration pact. The Minister confirmed to me in the Justice Committee that no consideration was given to not opting in to all of this pact.

“Sinn Féin believes that it must be for an Irish government to decide on key aspects of our immigration system, and we will oppose the government’s full opt-in approach, which will tie the hands of future governments.

“We are in a unique and fortunate position in this state that we have the opportunity to opt-into the elements of the EU Pact that are good for Ireland while remaining outside those laws that are not in our interests.

“We are also in a unique position in that we share a common travel area with Britain – we have considerations that no other countries have because of this.

“We need to ensure that we have flexibility. If we are tied in entirely to the EU system, we reduce our ability to respond and legislate in a bilateral way with Britain.

“We also note the major human rights concerns that exist regarding the EU Migration Pact. Several human rights organisations have outlined several concerns regarding the potential in some of the provisions for detention, for inadequate assessments, and for the welfare of vulnerable asylum seekers. We share these concerns and believe that several of the measures do not meet adequate human rights standards.

“It is for these reasons that Sinn Féin will be voting no to the government’s proposal to opt Ireland fully into the EU Asylum and Migration Pact.

“Sinn Féin firmly believes that Ireland must retain our sovereignty over these matters if we are to have an immigration system that is fair, efficient, and enforced.”

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