Jennifer Whitmore TD

The Government’s ham-fisted handling of the immigration accommodation crisis is making a bad situation in Dublin even worse, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on integration, said:

“Just days after the Taoiseach pledged to end the sad spectacle of tents pitched on the streets of our capital, the Government has simply kicked the problem down the road.

“There are now as many as 100 tents lined along the banks of the Grand Canal, just a few hundred metres from the original encampment outside the International Protection Office on Mount Street.

“What is happening in Dublin at the moment is bad for asylum seekers, bad for communities and bad for the city.

“Those forced to live on the streets have no access to the most basic facilities, such as sanitation or running water, and are constantly exposed to the risk of violence and intimidation.

“It now appears to be Government policy to move people from tents on one street to tents on another street.

“It is not acceptable that those seeking refuge in this country should be handed a note to say that no accommodation is available and the State cannot offer further supports.

“A failure to plan lies at the heart of this crisis, which has been escalating for almost a year.

“We need to see an immediate audit of Ukrainian and IPAS accommodation to establish how many vacant beds exist within the system, and where they are located.

“There must be no further delays in the delivery of six State-run reception and integration centres, which have been promised since 2021. It is deeply frustrating that the Government has not even revealed the proposed locations for these essential facilities.

“It is disappointing that the Taoiseach today refused to allow Dáil statements on the immigration accommodation crisis. Not only does his Government not have a plan, he is not even prepared to facilitate a discussion on this crucial issue.”

May 8, 2024

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