‘The Most Restrictive Terms’


This afternoon.

Outside Leinster House.

Members of Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, Anti-Racism Network Ireland and Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Ireland, and their supporters, are holding a demonstration calling for a meaningful right to work for asylum seekers in Ireland.

It comes ahead of an expected announcement from the Supreme Court tomorrow.

MASI writes:

The Supreme Court is due to make a formal announcement [tomorrow] about the unconstitutionality of the ban on asylum seekers’ right to work in this state. This follows on from the court’s decision in May last year that this total ban is unconstitutional.

Since then, the Government has dragged its heels until finally, last week, it pushed a motion through the Oireachtas about opting in to the EU directive on reception conditions for asylum seekers including its very general directive on the right to work which allows individual states to decide on the details themselves.

MASI believes that the government is planning to introduce the most restrictive terms it can get away with, while spinning this as a sign of their great tolerance and charity toward asylum seekers.

Our beliefs are well-founded.

The Government has not given any detail of what the right to work for asylum seekers will actually look like, and now has managed to get a majority across parties to let them get away with adopting the most restrictive possible ‘interim measures’ on back of the promise to opt-in to the EU directive some months down the road, without giving any detail about what shape this will take in reality for asylum seekers who want to work.

These interim measures apply the existing work permits scheme to asylum seekers. This scheme limits the right to work in the state to a handful of highly paid professions, and requires the person applying to earn a starting salary of €30,000 minimum, and to pay €500-€1,000 euro for a work permit.

These are unreachable targets for most people, never mind for people living in direct provision on €21 a week.

If these interim measures are a taste of things to come, very few people seeking protection in Ireland will have the opportunity to earn their own living or support their families.

Right To Work Now (Facebook)

Pics: Immigrant Council of Ireland

32 thoughts on “‘The Most Restrictive Terms’

  1. diddy

    the 30,000 starting salary was a bizarre figure to come up with. Give an Amnesty then lock the doors

    1. Declan

      It is fairly ridiculous amount but I’m assuming that it’s meant to discourage economic migrants from claiming asylum – it’s probably better move to have a once off amnesty for those here already and then set the level after that.

      Also is there any supports for people who have been out of the workforce for years? Rusty skills and all that

      1. cian

        It’s interesting to compare the number applying for asylum each year and Irish unemployment rates.

        They follow the same curve between 2004 and 2014.

        Looks like economic migrants rather than asylum seekers

  2. Fact Checker

    Why should asylum seekers in Ireland have easier access to the labour market than everyone else from outside the EEA?

    I am not claiming Ireland’s work permit regime is optimal. Or indeed the direct provision system. But it would be very hard to justify a regime that is more accessible to asylum seekers than the other 7 billion people who live outside the EEA.

    1. ahjayzis

      What an odd thing to ask. You really think someone claiming to be fleeing war, repression and sexual violence is on a par with an Australian gap year student looking to work in a bar?

      Everyone else can leave and find work elsewhere, crucially they can go home – these people are stuck here. By definition, they’re a captive population and banning them from providing for themselves while we house them in camps is cruel and utterly dehumanising.

      Really weird to have to type that out for someone.

      1. Fact Checker

        Except that three quarters of them are eventually denied asylum.

        The world is a very big place. Ireland is very small. The moral hazard is obvious.

        PS: I repeat that both Ireland’s immigration rules and direct provision regime leave a lot to be desired.

      2. Rob_G

        “What an odd thing to ask. You really think someone claiming to be fleeing war, repression and sexual violence is…”

        ‘Claiming’ is the operative word here. Among the most common nationalities to apply for asylum last year were Georgia & Albania…

      3. Jake38

        “……. claiming to be fleeing war, ……”

        “………..these people are stuck here………”

        Lots of assumptions there.

  3. Rob_G


    – what should be done so with asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected, if not deport them?

  4. cian

    It seems that anything between 55% to 90[1]% of asylum applicants in Ireland are rejected.

    At least 5 of every 10 people in Direct Provision will not be allowed to stay in Ireland. Why should they get to work while we process their application?

    [1] depending on source – Indo says 90%; asylumineurope says 79%, europa.eu says 55%

    1. ahjayzis

      Why punish the 5 of every 10 who are genuine refugees by forcing them to spend years dehumanised in institutions, banned from engaging their brain and using their skills and providing for their family?

      If 50% of drivers had no insurance we wouldn’t ban driving.

      1. cian

        We don’t. The genuine ones are processed quickly.
        The non-genuine ones are processed, rejected, appeal, are re-processed, rejected again, appeal again, ….
        We need a faster and fairer system – Part of that is not to accept more than one appeal and to deport people that have lost their first appeal. This will reduce the workload and allow new applicants to be processed more efficiently.

        Look at the stats that Fact Checker linked to:
        in 2016 0 of the 150 Syrians were rejected. But 165 of 170 Albanians were rejected. Looks like the Syrians are genuine refugees but the Albanians aren’t.

        1. Fact Checker

          I have googled a bit and can’t really find numbers on average waiting times in the system.

          Most news articles are very fuzzy but apparently the legal framework changed in early 2016 with the attempt of speeding things up.

          1. Fact Checker

            Thanks. It says:

            “Length of Time of RIA Residents in Asylum Process (Based on Initial
            Asylum Application): Mean Length of Time: 26 Months, Median Length of Time:19 Months”

            If this relates to the current population then the median stay in the system is just over three years. This is too long.

          2. cian

            “If this relates to the current population then the median stay in the system is just over three years. This is too long.”

            How did you change “Median Length of Time:19 Months” into “over three years”?

            2,710 people have been in DP for <18 months;
            2,727 people have been in DP for >18 months;

            I agree that this is too long.

            I would like to see the same stats broken down by initial decision and/or number of appeals.

          3. Fact Checker

            I multiplied the median time in the system for the current population by two.

            This gets you 38 months.

            It is crude I admit.

          4. cian

            okay, you lost me. Why are you multiplying the median time by anything?

            If we compare Dec 2016 to 2017 we can see that
            in 2016 1,564 were waiting up to a year; by 2017 1,057 were waiting 1-2 years…. so 507 (32%) of that cohort came out of DP.
            in 2016 658 were waiting over 6 years; by 2017 333 were waiting 7+ years…. so 325 (49%) of that cohort came out of DP.

      2. GiggidyGoo

        Their families are being provided for. Free accommodation, free food, free clothing, Free education, and pocket money.
        Most are here illegally as they arrived in Europe in a country other than Ireland.

        And what kind of childish comparison is the Drivers one?

    2. kellma

      what is wrong with letting them support themselves in the meantime instead of the taxpayer doing it, especially if they are chancers!

  5. Anne

    I don’t see what the right to work has to do with anything. Given some people have been in direct provision years surely the system needs to be overhauled. You arrive, as an asylum seeker. You are assessed within 6 months and have your appeal heard. If you are rejected you are deported. No appeals and no dragging it out hoping that if you stay long enough you’ll be granted the right to work as above. Either we trust the people involved in the process to make the correct decision or we don’t. If we don’t trust them hire experts in the field and a highly trained team to efficiently process claims in the required time period. It would be less expensive than maintaining all the direct provision Centres.

    1. Andrew

      But Anne you’re forgetting the money to be made out of the endless appeals. The poor lawyers will need compensation.
      Remember Pamela Izevbekhai. That was nice earner.

  6. Truth in the News

    Once England exits and the 26 counties gets over run…there will soon be a border
    and fact finding missions will be dispatched to the US to find out how Trump did it
    with the wall….in the end uncontrolled immigration into any country will end in a
    back lash and those out in the streets today will only speed it up….we can barley
    look after our own and any that had to leave this country in the 10 years, if they come
    back are confronted with every obstacle that can be engineered to keep them out.
    The rest of the World are not Citizens of Ireland are they…..?

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