Ireland cracks down on refugee admissions amid Ukrainian influx – RT World News
Decision stops visa-free travel for migrants from other European countries
Ireland to suspend visa-free travel for migrants entering the country from 20 reputable European countries « sure. » The decision comes as the state struggles to accommodate a wave of refugees from Ukraine, which it says it has no intention of curtailing.
The Irish government announced on Monday that it would withdraw from the Council of Europe agreement on the abolition of visas for refugees for the next 12 months. The document allows refugees who have already applied for protection in 20 European countries – including Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Poland – to enter any other country on the list for up to three months without a visa.
Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the deal was « to be exploited » and that some refugees « enter the state and then apply for international protection, although he has already been granted such protection by another European state. »
The announcement came days after Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said Ireland was running out of space for Ukrainian refugees, having taken in more than 40,000 since February. Martin said 70% of the occupants of a refurbished hotel in Dublin – converted to accommodate some 2,300 of those arrivals – were not Ukrainians, but asylum seekers from other countries.
Making it more difficult for asylum seekers to exploit the system, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday that the suspension of visa-free travel for other « to help protect Ukrainians. »
Despite the lack of space, the Irish government will continue to welcome more Ukrainians. “We do not intend to limit the number”, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said last week. Stating that Ireland could see 100,000 people arrive this year from Ukraine and elsewhere, Varadkar said that « We’re going to have to pull out all the stops to try to provide additional accommodation and do whatever we can. »
The first 150 refugees were moved to a tent city at a military camp in Gormanston, outside Dublin, on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters last Friday, Varadkar said more such facilities would be opened in the coming weeks and months.
EU warns of new ‘waves of migration’
« Gormanston is not the only military camp, there will be other camps that we have planned », said Varadkar. « Keep in mind that while we’re struggling with 40,000 people from Ukraine, Poland has two million…we’re really taking our fair share and maybe not really that. »
According to a recent poll, some 84% of Irish people think « there is a limit » on the number of refugees Ireland can accommodate, while 60% say they are concerned that « too many asylum seekers and refugees could come to Ireland. »
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