ICI brands State's immigration policy as 'anti-family'


The State's immigration policies and procedures are anti-family and cause heartache to non-nationals living in Ireland who want to be reunited with their spouses and children, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI).

Statistics released today from the organisation show that 2,500 people made enquiries to it in the 12 month period up to the end of June.

Analysis showed that people grappling with family reunification issues, queries related to gaining permission to remain in Ireland, and problems being experienced with the work permit system were the three most common issues of concern to immigrants coming to the ICI.

The ICI's executive chairperson, Sr Stanislaus Kennedy described the process of reuniting immigrant families in the Republic as "heartbreakingly difficult".

"Problems experienced by people related to the bureaucratic nature of making such applications, the fact that it can often take well over a year to get a decision, and the fact that the decision making process is discretionary and is not transparent," she said.

The ICI has called on the Government "to develop a long term approach to immigration" and to open up a "thorough debate" on the issues surrounding it.

Sr Stan added that there was a "need to establish a well managed, comprehensive immigration policy, as well as an immigrant policy that is focussed on promoting integration and upholding the rights and entitlements of immigrants in Ireland."