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Serious Concerns over timing and content of proposed Immigration legislation

27 April, 2007

Responding to the publication today of the Government's Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill, Sinn Féin's Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has expressed serious concern over the timing and content of the Bill.

He said, "The timing of the publication of this very lengthy and serious piece of legislation is highly questionable, coming as it does well past the 11th hour of this Dáil session. This is legislation will require serious and lengthy debate and discussion before it is anywhere near acceptable, and introducing it at this stage after years of preparation serves no useful purpose.

"Furthermore, the content of the Bill itself, despite its length and complexity, is deficient in that it does not address key issues such as family reunification or provide for legal safeguards to protect the rights of migrants. As a matter of principle, Sinn Féin will be objecting to the Bill as it now stands on the basis that it is not rights based legislation and leaves far too much to Ministerial discretion. The promise of a clear, transparent and accountable immigration system does not seem to have materialised. I will be proposing substantial and significant amendments to bring it back into line with equality and human rights standards.

"It is obvious from the content of this proposed legislation that the grave concerns expressed by the Irish Human Rights Commission last December have not been taken into account, despite the Minister's assurances to the contrary. Also, the submissions to the consultation held in 2005 seem to have had very little impact on the resulting Bill." ENDS

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