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Posts Tagged ‘Dermot Ahern’

Immigration and ‘Marriages of Convenience’

January 30, 2010 Leave a comment

On Monday, the Irish Times reported on a new operation which has been undertaken by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to detect and prevent what they believe to be marriages of convenience for the purpose of securing EU residency rights. A Pakistani man, Muhammad Shafi, was recently convicted of offences related to the possession of ‘false instruments’. Gardai also intervened to halt his marriage to a Lithuanian woman. The Irish Times reports that marriages designed to circumvent certain legal obstacles to residency in Ireland are an important informal feature of  our immigration regime, with the Minister  for Justice estimating that  “30 per cent of all our applications for recognition under the EU directive on freedom of movement and residency involve persons who were illegally present in Ireland or on a temporary or limited permission when making their applications”. The Times explains:

These marriages are typically arranged by failed asylum seekers or former students from Asia who no longer have permission from immigration authorities to stay in Ireland.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern told his EU counterparts at a meeting in Spain at the weekend that there was evidence of growing abuse of immigration laws with a growing number of non-EU nationals marrying women from the Baltic states.

Some 110 of the 384 residency applications made by Pakistanis in the Republic in 2009 were based on marriages to Latvians.

A further 50 applications were based on marriage to Polish nationals while 47 applications were based on Pakistanis marrying Estonians.

Read more…

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Former Guantánamo Bay Detainees Granted Leave to Remain

September 28, 2009 Leave a comment

The Irish Times reports today that two Uzbek nationals who had been 160px-Dermot_Aherndetained in Guantánamo Bay for seven years but who were found not to be a threat to national or international security have now arrived in Ireland. The former detainees could not be returned to their own countries of origin as there was a real risk that they would be subjected to persecution there. The former detainees have been granted leave to remain by the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern (right).

As a legal status, leave to remain is normally granted where someone has been unsuccessful in an asylum application but there are humanitarian reasons for not returning the person to their country of origin. This is provided for under s. 17 of the Refugee Act 1996. However, leave to remain can be granted in broader circumstances than this as it is a discretionary status. Recently a large number of people have been granted leave to remain on the basis of their being the parents of Irish born children, for example. Read more…