Japanese man spends sixth night in prison after being refused entry into State

Sushi chef’s treatment ‘grossly unreasonable’, say lawyers

Edel McGinley, deputy director of the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland, said the case showed the lack of transparency when people are refused entry into the State. Photograph: Alan Betson

Edel McGinley, deputy director of the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland, said the case showed the lack of transparency when people are refused entry into the State. Photograph: Alan Betson

Wed, Jul 3, 2013, 08:30

A Japanese man has spent a sixth night in prison after being refused entry into the State despite living here since 2008.

A High Court hearing is due to be held today to decide whether Takafumi Mizuno should be deported or allowed to remain in Ireland.

He was stopped at Dublin airport last Thursday by immigration officials who said his student visa had expired and he had applied for a work permit, according to court documents filed by his lawyers yesterday.

He asked to enter as a visitor for 90 days, as Japanese nationals are allowed to do, but this was turned down.


Injunction
Mr Mizuno was taken to Cloverhill Prison, Dublin, and on Friday evening he was granted an injunction preventing him from being deported.

He had left Ireland for two weeks with his partner Agnieszka Kowalska to visit her family in Poland. An affidavit says he was “in the advanced stages” of acquiring a work permit as a sushi chef.

The High Court yesterday refused to allow Mr Mizuno to leave prison pending today’s hearing.

His student visa had expired on June 3rd and he had not been attending college, said David Conlan Smyth, counsel for the Minister for Justice. “One does not have the right as a non-national to stay here pending the process of a work permit application,” he said.

However, counsel for Mr Mizuno, Peter Mullen, said his visa would only become illegal a month after it expired.


‘Grossly unreasonable’
The refusal to allow him to enter the State was “grossly unreasonable” and “irrational”, say court documents submitted by his lawyers. He has an “unblemished immigration history” and had not been given any reasons as to why he could not enter as a visitor.

Mr Mizuno was led into and out of the court yesterday in handcuffs. His lawyers said afterwards that he was being held in a cell with other detainees in Cloverhill Prison.

Edel McGinley, deputy director of the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland said the case showed the lack of transparency when people are refused entry into the State.

“Decisions are often made arbitrarily, there is no right to appeal.”