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FG to Ahern: Let Nigerian woman stay


FutureTaoiseach

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In another example of the liberal-elitism of Leinster House, FG is demanding Pamela Izevbekhai be allowed to remain in Ireland. This woman, who arrived here in 2005 has already failed her asylum-application and predictably, the "Christmas card" is being played to support her case. The European Court of Human Rights has yet to rule on her case, though under Irish law, where the Irish Constitution conflicts with the ECHR, the Constitution has precedence, though the Justice Minister has the power to give failed asylum-seekers leave to remain.

FINE GAEL yesterday called on Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern to exercise discretionary powers to allow a Nigerian mother to remain in Ireland on humanitarian grounds, saying it was right and appropriate and in the spirit of this time of year.
Pamela Izevbekhai came to Ireland in early 2005 and has sought leave to remain on the grounds that her two daughters will be forced to undergo genital mutilation if the family is returned to Nigeria.
She has already lost one daughter, Elizabeth, who died in 1994 as a result of the procedure, which Fine Gael yesterday described as barbaric.
Ms Izevbekhai has exhausted all domestic avenues of appeal against the decision of the State to refuse her refugee status. She says her two daughters, Naomi (7) and Jemima (6), will be forced by her husband’s relations to undergo the procedure, if the State goes ahead with the deportation process.
In response to her circumstances, Fine Gael yesterday invited Ms Izevbekhai to Leinster House where it convened an all-party meeting to allow TDs and Senators hear her story. The family has been living in Sligo where the children attend a local primary school.
The meeting was arranged by the party’s spokesman on children Alan Shatter and its spokesman on immigration Denis Naughten. The Sligo TD John Perry was also involved.
Speaking outside Leinster House, Mr Shatter said that her case was an exceptional one given that she has already lost a daughter because of genital mutilation.
He said at this time of year the Minister for Justice should consider applying basic humanitarian principles to her request to stay, rather than depending on the legal technicalities or on the outcome of an application made to the European Court in Strasbourg. “There is a basic humanitarian story. In the context of her special circumstances, she has a special case. I think that deserves recognition,” he said
FG are wrong to take this stance on a number of grounds. According to the Sunday Times, immigration-officials believe this woman travelled to the UK on a holiday-visa before entering Ireland. Secondly, any failed asylum-seeker is desperate to remain here and consequently will say anything to be allowed to do so. FG, as with Leinster House generally in such cases, has decided to take her word for it, despite the absence of evidence. In taking this position during a recession, they are also effectively encouraging illegal-immigration as the word will go round that Ireland is a soft touch that won't deport you if you come here illegally. She has claimed that she came to Ireland through Amsterdam. If that is so, then under the Dublin Convention we have a right to return her to that country. It is not the case that we face an either-or situation in terms of returning her to Nigeria or allowing her to remain here - we can return her to a previous EU country of entry, and that or return to Nigeria should be the action undertaken. Furthermore, as the map below shows, most of Africa is outside the geographical areas where FGM is common, meaning she could easily have claimed asylum in one of many other African countries e.g. Morocco. The reality is that 90% of asylum-seekers fail their applications, and yet only 25% of deportation-orders have been enforced (according to the Tribune some months ago). It is obvious, given the absence of direct-flights between Ireland and Nigeria that this woman moved between many EU states before claiming asylum here. Furthermore, recent press coverage has called her story into question, with allegations her husband is living in the UK. Furthermore, this is not the first time FG and Labour have engaged in campaigns to suspend the deportations of bogus asylum-seekers. But surely in these recessionary times the argument for a crackdown on illegal-immigration is all the stronger. The elites in Leinster House need to listen to public opinion for once.

Sunday Times said:
Smuggled’ Nigerian had holiday visa
Mother fighting to remain in country to avoid daughters’ circumcision visited Britain before Ireland, immigration officials believe
John Mooney


div#related-article-links p a, div#related-article-links p a:visited {color:#06c;}THE Nigerian woman who claims she paid criminals to smuggle her to Ireland via the Netherlands in order to save her daughters from female genital mutilation was issued with a holiday visa to enter Britain shortly before she arrived in Dublin.
Immigration officials do not believe that Pamela Izevbekhai was in fact smuggled to Ireland, but instead suspect that she travelled to Britain on a holiday visa before coming to Dublin to claim political asylum.
Immigration files and court documents in the case, which may yet be decided in Europe, reveal that the British government issued Izevbekhai, her husband Tony, and their two daughters, Naomi, 7, and Jemima, 6, with a multi-visit visa to enter Britain in June 2004.
The two-year visa was issued by the British embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, and allowed the family to travel to and from Britain for holidays.
Izevbekhai and her daughters presented themselves to immigration officials in Dublin in January 2005, claiming that a trafficker had smuggled them to Ireland via the Netherlands. She refused to disclose who had arranged her passage, and could not produce any travel documents.
Gardai suspect Izevbekhai travelled from London to Belfast and then crossed the border with her daughters. Immigration officials intercepted her husband, Tony, travelling in a taxi to Dublin from Belfast in August 2005, eight months later. He had documentation indicating a permanent address in Britain, according to one memo on the case. He is now in Nigeria, but was a regular visitor to Britain until recently.
Dutch immigration authorities say they have no evidence of Izevbekhai or her daughters passing through Schipol Airport in Amsterdam at the relevant times.....




After nearly 6 months in office, Dermot Ahern's record on asylum is a mixed one. On the one hand, he has correctly pushed ahead with the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008 which would introduce summary-deportations, including deportations during judicial-reviews where the judge has not granted injunctions blocking the deportations. On the other hand, as of June only 43 people (according to the Sunday Tribune) had been deported this year under his predecessor, and in the discussions on the Bill at Committee stage, he has stated that under the legislation, an asylum-seeker who claims to have been trafficked into Ireland will be eligible for a temporary visa to remain in Ireland provided they cooperate with the Gardai in the prosecution of the traffickers. Obviously, the danger of such and approach is that illegal-immigrants will claim to have been trafficked in order to avoid deportation from this country - a risk acknowledged by Ahern in the committee deliberations. In that context I hope that Ahern review these provisions as they risk constituting the latest in a long series of loopholes exploited by bogus asylum-seekers in order to gain permission to remain in Ireland. And to those of us who might have considered voting Labour in the next GE, the fact that Pat Rabbitte called for the temporary-visa provisions to apply even to people who claim to have been trafficked into Ireland who refuse to cooperate in prosecutions of traffickers, is a wake-up call as to Labour's underlying liberal agenda in this area - something the country cannot afford in recessionary times. Make you feelings known to FG politicians like Alan Shatter etc.
 
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Pauli

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As I disagree with FT on almost everything, I have to admit he is more or less on the money with this assessment. Whatever about "liberal elites", most parties in this country have absolutely no clue how to respond to the immigration phenomenon. Utterly clueless. And, since this is Ireland, the law is not enforced properly. It never is.
 

White Horse

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I think FT makes a good point from the legal perspective. However, the call by FG was made on Christian and humanitary grounds.

Compassion is a hallmark of Christianity and I am proud that a Christian Democratic party like Fine Gael have not forgotten that.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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I think FT makes a good point from the legal perspective. However, the call by FG was made on Christian and humanitary grounds.

Compassion is a hallmark of Christianity and I am proud that a Christian Democratic party like Fine Gael have not forgotten that.
Religion has done much damage to the world, and the political elites should not delve into archaic texts to find parallels in the modern world to emulate. The problem WH is that only 25% of deportation-orders are being enforced, and that is set to fall further as Dermot Ahern has done away with mass-deportations of 60 people at a time (according to the Sunday Tribune it's down to 8 at a time). In that context, everyone seemingly is an 'exceptional/special case'. But if everyone is an exception, no-one is. If you can't send them back to Nigeria (which the Dept of Justice considers a safe country) then we should send illegals to a previous EU state of entry in line with the Dublin Convention.
 

scsa1981

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This is an absolute joke. I was thinking of voting for them next time as well. Seriously, all they have to do is not mess up badly and come across as strong on law and order and they are shoe ins for the next general election. Who is advising them? There is no question that opposition to immigration will grow as unemployment increases. That happens everywhere. So why are they shooting themselves in the foot with this scammer?
 

mccafferty cat

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FutureTaoiseach, I think its pretty obvious what the cause of this issue is: The Lisbon Treaty.

Those democracy-hating eurocrats are forcing Africans to have genital circumsicions, and then they force us (under the dreaded Charter) to give asylum to free-loading victims

When will the elites get the message!!!!!!!
 

Christine Murray

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Dodging the issues whilst playing to the bar. It is no good for FG to skim the
issue but to look at the case in Toto especially in relation to the failure at
Justice to create a system that takes cognizance of legislation it itself
wrote on the Statute (Protection Laws 2006).
=Asylum Qualification Directive 2006.

Is anyone else sick of media-whooping by two dimensional politicos who
seem unaware of their political and legal responsibilites to the Community
and to those who seek asylum?
 

corelli

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Religion has done much damage to the world, and the political elites should not delve into archaic texts to find parallels in the modern world to emulate. The problem WH is that only 25% of deportation-orders are being enforced, and that is set to fall further as Dermot Ahern has done away with mass-deportations of 60 people at a time (according to the Sunday Tribune it's down to 8 at a time). In that context, everyone seemingly is an 'exceptional/special case'. But if everyone is an exception, no-one is. If you can't send them back to Nigeria (which the Dept of Justice considers a safe country) then we should send illegals to a previous EU state of entry in line with the Dublin Convention.
FT,

Can I correct you on your original post in a small matter.

Thought the Constitution takes precedence of the Convention in domestic law, ie when litigating in the IRISH COURTS if the Convention conflicts the Constitution takes precedence (by virtue of the European Convention on Human Rights Act), when you get a positive decision from the ECtHR itself, i.e. in this instance the plaintiff is actually appearing before the ECtHR, the Government are OBLIGED, by virtue of the ECHR, to implement the decision.

The plaintiff, with her positive decision, cannot legally litigate, in the Irish Courts, a decision of the Government to refuse to implement a decision of the ECtHR (it's a matter of international law, not domestic), but the Council of Europe have enforcement methods in such circumstances.

It's a small point, but an important one.
 

kerrynorth

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I think FT makes a good point from the legal perspective. However, the call by FG was made on Christian and humanitary grounds.

Compassion is a hallmark of Christianity and I am proud that a Christian Democratic party like Fine Gael have not forgotten that.
Does the same apply to the tens of thousands of others that will come here on that precedent?
 

Fingal MCC

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I am pained to think that someone who is subject to a deportation order can flaunt the judicial system in order to stay on in this country but in these circumstances I believe that some form of stay on the order should be allowed. From reading FT's quotes from Alan Shatter, I tend to agree with his point of view. Her circumstances deserve recognition. Its a horrific situation and a horrific practice.

I would also agree with White Horse's comment, FG are a Christian Democratic party, even if the Christian part is waning a bit.

However, of the articles that FT has reproduced are true, surely she should be deported to the UK or Holland as the first point of entry to the EU? Am I wrong?
 

corelli

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I am pained to think that someone who is subject to a deportation order can flaunt the judicial system in order to stay on in this country but in these circumstances I believe that some form of stay on the order should be allowed. From reading FT's quotes from Alan Shatter, I tend to agree with his point of view. Her circumstances deserve recognition. Its a horrific situation and a horrific practice.

I would also agree with White Horse's comment, FG are a Christian Democratic party, even if the Christian part is waning a bit.

However, of the articles that FT has reproduced are true, surely she should be deported to the UK or Holland as the first point of entry to the EU? Am I wrong?
It only applies if she previously applied for asylum in one of those two jurisdictions.
 

elfatih

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i believe she has a genuine story of what happened to her eldest daughter, there are doubts to the fact she claims she came here from holland. In either case she should be claiming asylum in Holland/UK or whatever he point of entry in EU was. She should be made do this. If we allow this woman and her family to stay then most bogus asylum claims can state fgm on their claim.
This country has accepted thousands of bogus asylum seekers and now while thousands of Irish are loosing their jobs the taxpayer has to fund these economic migrants whose only aim is to gain access to our generous welfare system.
 

bob3344

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Wasn't so long ago that posters on this site were claiming that once a downturn in the Irish economy occurred, it would be the end of immigration.

hard to quantify the sheer idiocy of that statement - do people not realise how bad conditions are in the rest of the world ?

If FGM is seen as grounds for asylum, we are opening ourselves up to millions upon millions of applications.

The idea that we should decide based on feeling sorry for people - there are 1/2 billion chinese existing on less than $2 a day. Sounds like hardship to me. What to do ? Give them passports as well ?

Not going to work.

If this woman feels there is a danger of FGM in Nigeria, she should move to a different part - there are 100m + people living in Nigeria, a country the size of France & Germany combined.
It is not credible that her family could track her down.
 

bob3344

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There goes FG, throwing away hard-earned public support on ridiculous, unsupportable cases once again.
Stupid, stupid Fine Gael.
Yeah, any FGers taking the high moral ground on the economy should remember that maybe things would've been different if they had been able to provide credible opposition.

Born to lose.
 

thebig C

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There goes FG, throwing away hard-earned public support on ridiculous, unsupportable cases once again.
Stupid, stupid Fine Gael.
Yeah you are probably right.

Then again...thats FG, not playing to the gallery, taking a tough unpopular line for something they believe to be right, not simply being populist!

You know, if you dislike FG over this, don't vote for them. There is another party FF, who never take tough decisions, always take the populist line, always do what will make their friends money not what is morally right.....look where they've got us!!!

Maybe people here should worry a bit more about their incompetent government rather then 1 Nigerian lady!
 

FutureTaoiseach

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Yeah you are probably right.

Then again...thats FG, not playing to the gallery, taking a tough unpopular line for something they believe to be right, not simply being populist!

You know, if you dislike FG over this, don't vote for them. There is another party FF, who never take tough decisions, always take the populist line, always do what will make their friends money not what is morally right.....look where they've got us!!!

Maybe people here should worry a bit more about their incompetent government rather then 1 Nigerian lady!
But all these ones add up, with every case deemed "special" by those bleeding-heart liberals in Leinster House. We must be cognaissant of the dangers of believing ****-and-bull stories and letting everyone who claims they are true remain here. Dermot Ahern - deport this woman and remember you are elected to govern.
 

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