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Americans among those seeking Irish asylum
US application figures grow as immigration protests intensify
Two Americans applied for international protection in Ireland in the first week of the year.
They join 25 others from the USA currently housed by International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) in Ireland.
The number of International Protection applicants in state accommodation will hit 20,000 by the end of the month, if current rates of influx recorded by IPAS continue.
Forty asylum applicants are arriving per day, according to latest figures, which put the numbers currently seeking international protection in Ireland at 19350.
Georgians make up the highest number of applicants, with 3,138 currently living in state accommodation. Nigerians, Algerians and Somalians are the top three groupings by nationality following Georgians.
Some 529 people of no recorded nationality are listed in the latest IPAS weekly figures for Week 2 of January 2023.
The figures emerge as local communities mobilised to protest in multiple locations yesterday, including East Wall, Drimnagh and Ballymun in Dublin and Fermoy in Co Cork.
Protesters are calling for Irish people to be housed ahead of international applicants and refugees as the housing crisis in Ireland continues along a troubling trajectory of rising rents and record homelessness.
The protests are being labelled as ‘far right’ and ‘racist’ by politicians and media but those on the streets are left with little choice as the normal democratic avenues of consultation and public meetings are bypassed.
Living space for the current 19,350 IPO applicants are provided in four different categories:
Some 47% of applicants in the first week of January were single males, a total of 134.
A total of 61 children, 22 couples (44 people), 32 single women and 12 lone parents arrived. Child applicants make up the highest number of applicants after single males, at 22%.
A total of 283 arrivals seeking international protection entered the application process last week, an average of 40 per day.
These figures are down on the previous week’s published figures, which saw 452 arrivals, an average of 64 per day.
Upon a successful application, men and women can apply for permission to bring their spouses, civil partners and children to Ireland with them. Notably, in the case of a child under 18 granted permission to stay, an application can be made for their parents and siblings to join them in Ireland.
17.1 If you are granted refugee or subsidiary protection status, you may apply to the Minister, within a period of one year from the date of grant, for permission for certain members of your family to enter and reside in the State (Ireland). This relates only to spouses, civil partners (where you were married or in a civil partnership to that person on the date of your protection application), unmarried children under 18 years and, in the case of a minor granted protection, the parents and siblings of applicants who are under 18 years.
The International Protection Office (IPO) sets out the criteria for international protection status here:
“If it is decided that you are not a refugee, you may qualify for subsidiary protection if there are substantial grounds for believing that you would face a real risk of suffering serious harm if returned to your country of origin/country of former habitual residence.”
The definition of serious harm is outlined by the IPO here:
Serious harm means: (i) death penalty or execution,
(ii) torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of a person in his or her country of origin/country of former habitual residence, or
(iii) serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in a situation of international or internal armed conflict.
Source: Information Booklet for Applicants for International Protection
For the past two months, Ireland has been operating a fast track system for applicants from what the EU classifies as ‘Safe Countries.’
These include Georgia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and South Africa.
The system was introduced as an amendment to the The European Communities (International Protection Procedures) Regulations 2022 and the International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations 2022.
The regulation took effect on November 8th 2022 and was introduced due to a ‘significant rise in applications for International Protection with a knock on effect on processing times.’
2022 has seen a significant rise in applications for International Protection, with more than 11,000 applications to made to date. More than 25% (over 2,800) of these application are coming from Safe Countries of Origin. The increase in applications has had an impact on processing times
The introduction of the accelerated procedure will allow for a person from a safe country to have their case dealt with in a more timely manner.
Source: FAQ’s on Accelerated Procedure
Meanwhile, locals in Co Clare are contacting TD’s over the transfer of a man involved in a violent incident at a reception centre in Killarney. The man was granted bail and moved to another centre located in Meelick.
“A few locals have been on to me about it and are not happy. This morning I contacted the Chief Superintendent’s Office at Henry Street in Limerick and asked him for clarification on this. I’ve also asked that they would have some oversight of this,” Cathal Crowe TD told the Clare Champion.
Deputy Crowe said that there is a need to be careful about the accommodation of people leaving troubled countries.
Separately, two thirds of hotels under private contracts to house those fleeing Ukraine have yet to renew deals with the state, according to a report in the Irish Times today.
The tourist season traditionally reopens on St Patrick’s Day.
Hotel operators are facing pushback from local businesses reliant on the tourist industry for survival.
The government is further likely to face opposition to plans underway for modular homes to house Ukrainian refugees at various sites in locations around the country due to planning issues and local objections.
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