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Sinn Féin seeks to amend Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008

29 April, 2008


The Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights will meet today to discuss the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD welcomed the opportunity to make substantial changes to the Bill and said Sinn Féin will attempt to amend it to strengthen protections for persons facing persecution, to remove the discretionary powers invested in the Minister for Justice and to ensure that families of immigrants are allowed entry into the country as a right.

He said, "At the time of the publication of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill I described it as a rehashing of the same regressive law that has been kicked about since 2005 so I welcome the opportunity to make substantial changes to the Bill this week.

"Sinn Féin is concerned at the overly broad discretionary powers invested in the Minister for Justice in the current text of the Bill and we will attempt to amend this section to base important decisions such as when to deport on sound policy guidelines rather than the discretion of a Minister.

"We also believe that any immigrant who comes here to live, work, and pay taxes should have the right to family reunification. This right has been omitted from the Bill as it currently stands and I will attempt to amend it accordingly.

"While recognising the need to maintain the safety and security of the State, Sinn Féin believes this does not have to be at the detriment of other basic principles such as the protection of human rights, the fair treatment of persons and the administration of a just and transparent immigration system. Sinn Féin's amendments have been tabled with this in mind." ENDS

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