Migration Policy must include ‘Compassion and common Sense Aligning’ – An Taoiseach

Migration policy must include ‘compassion and common sense aligning’

Taoiseach Simon Harris said we need to have an ‘honest and truthful’ discussion about what Ireland can offer migrants going forward.

The arrival of so-called tent villages around Dublin city has brought the topic back to the fore with several removed in the last two weeks.

Figures also show the number of asylum seekers increased by 95% in the first four months of this year compared to 2023.

The State has struggled to source adequate accommodation for the new arrivals.

Taoiseach Simon Harris told The Pat Kenny Show such a situation around tents will not be allowed to take hold again.

“What we’re going to do is make sure that never again is there a situation where official Ireland can almost turn a blind eye to the development over many, many, many months of an encampment,” he said.

“When I became Taoiseach it became very apparent to me very, very quickly that the approach from many agencies was far too siloed.

“There’s only one Ireland and there’s only one Government and I’m the head of it.

“My intention as Taoiseach now is to coordinate and pull people together in relation to this.”

Mr Harris that doesn’t mean tents won’t arise in parts of the country but it is “different when tents arrive for a relatively short period of time versus what was allowed to happen in relation to Mount Street”.

The Taoiseach said Ireland’s approach to migration has to change.

“The stage that we’re at in relation to migration has changed,” he said.

“We need to move from the emergency response to a much more sustainable model.

“Irish people are full of compassion but what they’re also full of is common sense.

“What they want to see when it comes to migration policy is compassion and common sense aligning.

“They want us to be honest with people who are coming to this country about what we can and can’t do.”

‘We have to be truthful’
Mr Harris said the State has to be truthful in what it can provide.

“We can absolutely provide shelter but not necessarily housing for people who come here,” he said.

“We can absolutely use State land and provide people with access to sanitation, and help people who are fleeing persecution, but we also have to be truthful in what we can do.

“It’s about having an honest, it’s about trying to have an honest and truthful discussion in relation to migration”.

The Taoiseach said while Ireland benefits from immigration there are many ways to come here.

“If you want to come economically to work here, please apply for a work permit,” he said.

“International protection isn’t for that purpose.

“What we’re already doing and what we’ll continue to do on an almost daily basis is look at all of the levers that are at the State’s disposal in terms of making sure we have a sustainable migration system”.

Mr Harris said this approach includes faster processing times on applications and effective deporations.

Ireland and UK
On concerns about migrants coming from Britain via Northern Ireland, the Taoiseach said the answer is closer alignment with the European Union.

“What we are in space of is aligning better with the European Union, making sure that we work on a European level in relation to this,” he said.

“Since Britain started talking tougher on migration, all that’s actually happened is the number of people coming to their country illegally has increased.

“What we need to do is make sure that we have an effective system.

“I know factually… that faster processing times are the way [to go].

“People who have a right to be here we want to say, ‘Yes you have a right to be here’.

“But the people who don’t have a right to be here, they need to be asked and ensure that they leave much more quickly.

“That’s what faster processing gives you,” he added.

Mr Harris said the number of staff at the International Protection Office (IPO) will reach 485 this year, with an initial ‘Yes/No’ decesion within 12 weeks for so-called safe countries.

#immigration #ireland #newstalk
Credit to : Newstalk

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