Defend the Rights of Irish Citizen Children sign now

Dear Sir/Madam,


On behalf of CADIC the Coalition Against Deportation of Irish Children we write to elicit your support in publicly opposing the move by the Minister of Justice to deport migrant families of Irish citizen children. These deportations, which have already begun, come in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling of January 2003 and the subsequent abolition, by the Minister of Justice, on 19 February 2003 of the procedure entitling the families of Irish citizen children to lawfully apply for residency in Ireland. We feel there is an urgent need to make representations to the Minister to regularise the residency rights of the 11,000 migrant parents of Irish citizen children, who are now candidates for deportation.

We ask you to read the enclosed letter and, if you support us, to sign below by 19 February 2004.

Thanking you on behalf of CADIC,


Ronit Lentin



Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform
Michael McDowell TD
Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform
72-76 St Stephens Green
Dublin 2



Dear Mr McDowell,

I write to you to express my disquiet at the deportations of migrant parents of Irish citizen children.

My plea supports similar please by migrant and migrant support organisations and by the groups organised under the CADIC umbrella as well as by the Human Rights Commission. The Human Rights Commission has noted in a recent statement that prior to the Supreme Court decision of January 2003, the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform had a procedure whereby families of Irish children could apply for residency. The HRC also noted that many of those families who had been in the asylum procedure, abandoned their claims on advice that they could rely on their application for residency. Those families were advised, often by government officials as well as lawyers, and legitimately expected that they would be able to remain and raise their Irish child in Ireland. Now many families who lawfully applied for residency are having their applications returned to them and are being told that they will not be processed any further.

This sudden retrospective change in policy is placing the families of Irish citizen children under undue strain, confusion and hardship. The fact that you have also announced that these families would not be entitled to free legal advice, is also putting these families under extraordinary financial pressure. The Human Rights Commission recommends that, rather than continue these families state of uncertainty, you be asked to allow these families to remain in Ireland. Granting these families a specific and defined group residency will not affect the integrity of the asylum process. Bearing in mind the high cost of deportations and the potential contribution to be made by these migrant families, many of whom are highly educated professional people, it also makes economic sense to allow this group of people to remain.

Taking into account not only Irelands emigration past, but also the decision in the UK to grant residency to over 50,000 asylum seekers who had been in Britain over three years, I support the HRCs recommendations wholeheartedly and ask you to allow the families of Irish citizen children, whether former asylum seekers or not, to remain, thus ending their limbo and uncertainty, and treating them fairly and with dignity, rather than criminalizing them. At the same time I am asking you to put in place a transparent and fair procedure for determining future applications of families of Irish citizens for residency.




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Evangelina PayneBy:
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Concerned Residents and Their Allies

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