Immigration Bill - Like Nazi Germany?

Michael McDowell's new immigration bill is another example of this government's attempts to put up more and more barriers to keep refugees and asylum seekers out of Ireland.

By Olivia O'Neill

People with Down Syndrome and schizophrenia could be excluded if the Government gets its way! The bill exposes the highly reactionary and discriminatory agenda of this Government. "Opposition" deputies walked out of the Seanad in protest at what Joe O'Toole described as a proposal that would not be out of place in Nazi Germany. A section in this Bill will allow the state to discriminate against foreign people with disabilities and refuse them entry to Ireland regardless of the conditions from which they have fled. The Bill will also stop anyone who has been imprisoned for more than a year from immigrating to here. As someone pointed out, this would stop Nelson Mandela being allowed into Ireland.

Families would inevitably be torn apart if this law is passed. But then, they already have been. The controversial deportation of whole families, including 11,000 Irish-born children is on the agenda.

This type of legislation legitimises the racist arguments of the establishment policitians that immigrants are a "burden" that this society can't afford. On the doorsteps in June, many of these politicians will blame the refugees and asylum seekers for the housing and health crises which they have created. A socialist political alternative is needed to expose, and to campaign against their racist lies.

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This article is from the Feb. 2004 edition of Socialist Voice.

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