Based on the Dublin Convention, the Supreme Court ruled that asylum seekers must apply for asylum in the first EU country in which they arrive. As Ireland is an island, it is almost impossible for refugees to get here without first touching down in another country. Under the Dublin Convention, asylum seekers are to be returned to the first EU country in which they arrived.
Refugees leave their homes, families, friends and jobs, for many reasons. For some it is because of gender, or religious persuasion, or because they have no religion. For others it can be because of their political opinions, ethnic back- ground or sexual orientations. Many flee because of fear of torture, rape or execution.
Every human being has a right to live free from persecution. Asylum is a right not a charity.
The Irish Government has already issued deportation notices to at least twenty-three asylum seekers. In so doing the Government is saying that life and dignity are privileges, not basic human rights.
We know from other European countries that when enough people demonstrate their opposition to deportations, governments have been forced to reverse their deportation decisions. Now is the time to voice our opposition to the Dublin Convention and to stop the Irish Government from deporting asylum seekers in our name.
The Government intends to deport asylum seekers in the very near future. It is already turning back people at Irish airports, train stations and ports on completely racist grounds - in many cases only on the basis of skin colour! It is doing this in our name.
The imminent deportations must be stopped. Action by you could mean saving someone's life. Some immediate steps can be taken:
1. Register your concern immediately with the Dept of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, 72-76 St Stephen's Green Dublin 2. Ph: 01-6028202 Fax 01-6615461 Email: email@example.com
2. Express your opposition to your TD or public representative. Insist that s/he raises the matter of the deportations in the Dáil. Point out the urgency of the situation.
3. Raise the issue in your union and at work. If you are a student, get your Student's Union to take a stand. Support the right of airport and seaport workers to refuse to participate in any attempted deportations.
4. Get involved with Immigrant Solidarity's anti-racist events. Join us. Solidarity is strength.