Rise in asylum decisions welcomed - but those accepted face new challenges
2015-12-01 12:58:56 -

Asylum seekers in Ireland say they welcome the increasing rate at which leave to remain is being granted by the State.


“With an increased focus on the humanitarian crisis on Europe’s borders, this is a critical moment to support those who have been in the asylum system in Ireland for many years who feel that if they do not get settled now they might be forgotten,” says Reuben Hambakachere, a human rights activist and community worker.


But he notes that the increase in the number of those granted leave has brought about new challenges for the asylum seeking community.


“One of the challenges direct provision residents face is identifying housing in order to be able to move on from the centres,” he says, pointing to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s recent confirmation that 470 people granted leave to remain are still in direct provision seeking alternative accommodation.


The difficult rental market is one major obstacle facing former asylum seekers granted leave.


In a recent article for the Irish Independent, Vincent McNamara of the Residential Landlords Association said that even when “landlords don’t refuse people because they’re on rent supplement … they want people who have a track record of paying on time and being compliant.”


While Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin hailed the increase in decisions and the quashing of deportation orders as “a clear indication that the working group report recommendations are being implemented”, Hambakachere believes that there is still a lack of transparency about the process of becoming documented.


“For most asylum seekers who have been in the process for seven years and above, the relationship between them and their solicitors is that of mistrust, with many believing they have been stuck in such a rut because they did not receive early legal advice or the right legal advice from onset,” he says. 


“We have noted a marked rise in numbers of phone calls in distress from residents who have not received their papers but are increasingly anxious as other residents are approved. We have also noted that a number of asylum seekers are resorting to self-advocacy to complete their cases because they believe lawyers are giving them a raw deal.”


Hambakachere says the asylum seeker community is calling for a more straight-forward system with clear information on how the process of receiving papers is carried out. “This will ensure that the call for clearing the backlog becomes a reality for asylum seekers and their supporters.”

TAGS : Asylum Humanitarian Crisis Asylum Seekers Residential Landlords Association
Other Immigration News
Most Read
Most Commented