Rural Independents Calling For Overhaul Of 'Open Door' Immigration Policy

A midlands member of the Group says the government has stifled the immigration debate for too long.

The Rural Independents have called for an overhaul of what they have described as Ireland's 'open door' immigration policies.

Over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived here since the start of the war last year.

Around 25,000 asylum seekers meanwhile have arrived here since the beginning of 2022.

Laois-Offaly TD Carol Nolan says the Government has tried to stifle a debate on immigration for too long:

The motion states Ireland should "stop those who come to take advantage of our generosity as asylum tourists."

However, it was rejected by some members, who argue the group has been trying to take advantage of the recent riots in Dublin. 

Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says the Rural Independents are using concerns around immigration to secure votes: 

People Before Profit says many migrants are living in fear since the Dublin riots.

TD Paul Murphy accused the Rural Independents of using the language of the far-right:

The government is ignoring local communities when it comes to an influx of refugees.

That's the accusation being made by Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Toibín.

A local committee in Coole in Westmeath and residents in Stradbally have previously raised concerns with a lack of consultation from the Department of Integration in relation to plans to move refugees or International Protection Applicants into the respective towns and villages.

Deputy Toibín says the "vacuum of information" is causing rumours to spread within communities:

The Justice Minister says there's a "robust and fair" international protection system in place here.

Minister Helen McEntee says there's a system in place to deal with the high numbers:

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