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FG/Labour Programme short on immigration/integration policy detail - Ó Snodaigh

7 March, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Equality Aengus Ó Snodaigh has today criticised the FG/Labour Programme for Government for being 'very short on detail in relation to immigration and integration policy'.

He said:

"While we welcome the promise to reform the immigration and asylum application procedures it should be made clear that this reform will not take on the unacceptable aspects of the previous government's Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill. There is no clarity in the programme as to the new government's plans in relation to direct provision, a single-application asylum procedure or the right to family reunification.

"The Programme promises only to "promote policies which integrate minority ethnic groups". It is not clear what is meant by this. There is no promise to revive the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, which was dissolved by the previous government, or to restore the funding that was cut to the Equality Authority and Human Rights Commission. Nothing is said about the need to reverse the cuts in English as an Additional Language instruction and to introduce a proper training and hiring regime for language resource teachers.

"There is no reference at all to the Habitual Residence Condition, which has been used to deny not only established immigrants but returning Irish emigrants access to social welfare.

"Unfortunately the Programme is hugely scarce in important detail." ENDS

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