Ireland struggles to deal with migrant influx across UK border

A tent in Dublin.
A tent in Dublin. Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Euronews
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London's plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda has many already inside the UK fearing for their safety, leading many to cross the Irish border.


Ireland's government has moved to remove tents occupied by asylum seekers in central Dublin as tensions over immigration continue to rise.

After many weeks of concern and complaints about the encampment, the area around the International Protection office in the Irish capital was cleared by police.

However, many of the asylum seekers sleeping there simply moved 200 metres down the road to a nearby canal due to a scarcity of accommodation.

Ireland has recently seen an influx of people seeking international protection from the UK, with asylum seekers coming across the open land border with Northern Ireland to escape the controversial British policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda so their claims can be processed offshore.

Living in fear

Khyber, from Afghanistan, came to Dublin because he fears being deported to the East African country from the UK.

Irish authorities informed him there is no accommodation in Dublin at present, meaning he and others will have to continue to live in tents without proper food and sanitary provisions.

"They tell us we don’t have any accommodation for the moment so, we will just wait," he said. "We don’t know when they will provide us with accommodation, so, at the moment, we just stay in the tents." 

The Irish Government has said it has plans to change legislation in the coming weeks, giving it the legal authority to return illegal immigrants to the UK.

However, ministers from London have declined to engage with the proposal, and there are doubts that changing the law will change the reality on the ground.

"It’s entirely academic in circumstances where the United Kingdom says they won’t take people back unless France also takes people back from the United Kingdom," says Michael McNamara, a lawyer and member of the Irish Parliament. 

“It’s certainly workable to fix the flaws in the legislation that were identified by the Irish High Court, but it’s academic if nobody is going to be transferred, which is the current situation."

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