Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has called for urgent reform of our immigration system following confirmation from the Taoiseach yesterday that there would be a stay on deportations for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis,

Deputy Whitmore said:

“While the Taoiseach’s statement in the Dáil yesterday was most welcome and a stay on deportations during the pandemic has been confirmed, it is clear that our immigration system needs urgent reform.

“A temporary stay on deportation is not a permanent solution and it is time that policy reflects the realities of many people faced with deportation at a moment’s notice in this country.

“Right now, there are people falling through the gaps – putting down roots in communities and even having families – without having certainty of their status in Ireland. They continue to live in the shadow of deportation. These people are none the wiser as to what will happen to them when the current pandemic is behind us.

“There is currently a White Paper review of our Direct Provision and International Protection system, which is due imminently. This review will consider recommendations from the Catherine Day report, including granting persons leave to remain in the country if they have been waiting a certain amount of time for a decision on their application for asylum.

“In this context, it is even more urgent that the current deportation system is reformed in the upcoming White Paper and forms part of a new and compassionate immigration system that offers people certainty in their lives.

“In the meantime, I am calling on the Minister for Justice to provide clarity to those facing deportation on the recent Coivd-19 related changes, as stated in the Dáil to me by the Taoiseach.”

December 10, 2020

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