Ireland gives precedence to vulnerable groups of migrants

February 06, 2014
Visareporter - Immigration Council of Ireland
The Immigration Council of Ireland gives priority to the victims of human trafficking and domestic violence for future immigration reforms.

The Immigration Council said the government had made an advancement in immigration reform in the year 2013, but it urged that it will focus more on much-awaited immigration, Residence and Protection Bill.

Council’s chief executive Denise Charlton said failing to offer residency entitlements to the sufferers of domestic assault in immigration law is making people get trapped in aggressive connections because of worries that they could be expelled. She said over the past years Ireland had been criticized internationally for failing to provide safe and secure accommodation for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.

Immigration Council was commenting on the publication of tentative figures of asylum and immigration. Continuing the downward trend of recent years, the figures showed less than 950 people showed interest for asylum in the last year. Council is working to make progress in reducing the backlog of citizenship and visa applications. During the past year, 30,000 applications were decide on, compared with 25,000 in the year 2012 and 16,000 in the year 2011.

The provisional figures show that almost 95,000 entry level visa applications were received in 2013, which is an 8% increase compared to 2012, and an approval rate of 91%. The top nations that applied include India at 16%, Russia at 15%, China at 11% and Nigeria at 6%.

Hilkka Becker, senior solicitor at the council, said that it is positive step moving towards mutual recognition for short term visas between the UK and Ireland. This step brought clarity for migrants travelling between the North and Republic. Ms Becker said that nearly 1,890 individuals were denied entry at the border, which was continuing concern and after two years high court has made it clear that failure to provide visa at entry points is breach of EU law. 
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