Fears that agreement destined to open Ireland to mass of foreign economic migrants.
TD says public representatives being “inundated with emails and phone calls” from people concerned about the immigration pact signed by Justice Minister Flanagan in Morocco.
Sligo News File.
A United Nations agreement on immigration signed by Ireland could lead to Irish border controls on immigration being switched to UN bureaucrats resulting in countless thousands of foreign economic migrants flooding into the country.
Although claimed to be non-binding, several EU and other states have refused to endorse the pact which two weeks ago Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan went ahead and signed on behalf of the people of Ireland in Marrakech.
The UN pact, known as the Global Compact on Immigration, has already led to violent street demonstrations in Brussels where last weekend thousands marched against the controversial accord set among other things to make even criticising migration a criminal offence.
Commenting in the Dail last week Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice said public representatives across the country are being “inundated with emails and phone calls” from people concerned about the agreement.
He referenced “a ferocious debate” on the Compact that had occurred between two candidates for the leadership of Angela Merkel’s party in Germany.
“I would have thought,” he said, “that there would have been statements or a debate in the Dáil on such an issue before the Government would sign this compact with other countries.”
Responding on behalf of Justice Minister Flanagan Minister of State David Stanton said he was happy to provide some background and context to the pact on “safe, orderly and regular migration.”
Ireland, he revealed, has been closely involved in the development of the global compact on migration “and, alongside Jordan,” “co-facilitated the 2016 New York declaration on refugees and migrants, a direct precursor to the compact.”
He said it was clear that “mass migration across the world cannot be managed by one country alone.
“Migration is a global issue, which requires global co-operation.”
He said the global compact, “is a legally non- binding document” that looked at migration from a global perspective.”
However, he failed to explain why the government had locked the people of Ireland into such a highly controversial agreement with implications for border controls without, it seems the knowledge or approval of the Dail.
‘I want answers’
Deputy Mattie McGrath said the governments of “United States, Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia have all pulled out of the UN migration pact process.
“While I have listened to the Minister of State’s reassurances, I must ask why those countries have pulled out.
“I want answers.
“What do those states see or know that we do not see or know?
“The most important issue, however, is the total lack of engagement with the people or with this House. Surely such a decision should be debated here.”
The migration agreement is heavily backed by banking and international business corporations. Ireland’s apparent unconditional support for the pact is understood to be
driven by a government plan designed to ensure a ready-made manpower resource is available to global corporations setting up base in the country.
The UN economic migration agreement is separate from the refugee programme under which Ireland has already become a haven for thousands of people from countries across the world.
Refugees arriving in Ireland have a right to access health and education facilities; they can work, set up business, must be provided with a house and can have their wives, children and relatives travel to live with them in Ireland.
Economic migrants, on the other hand, are people who travel from one country to another in search of improved employment and to better their standard of living. The agreement signed by Flanagan provides that they should be entitled to take their wives and family with them, that they should not be discriminated or spoken against, and that it should be a criminal offence to criticise a government’s policy on immigration.
According to the 2016 Census, there were 535,475 non-Irish nationals from 200 countries living in the State in 2015. More than 121,000 foreign nationals were granted citizenship between 2005 and 2015. It is not known how many undocumented or illegal immigrants are currently in the country; it is thought the figure could be in the several thousands.
Countries that have refused to sign the UN Compact or agreement on immigration include Austria, Australia, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United States.
The Belgium government has been left fighting for its survival after the largest of its partners broke away from the Coalition in a row where it declared it would not back a global U.N.-backed migration pact.
The pact lays down 23 objectives to open up legal migration and better manage a global flow of 250 million people.
There were violent clashes during a mass protest in which an estimated 8,000 marched against the UN pact in Brussels on Sunday.
Australia, the first country to reject the pact said it was not in its national interest to sign their border protection over to the United Nations.
Austria said it feared the pact would lead to a human right to migration. Its decision to join Hungary in not signing the pact has been strongly criticised by Brussels.
Chile has refused to sign, stating that migration was not a human right and that countries had a right to determine the entry requirements for foreign citizens.
A spokesman for the government of the Dominican Republic said that although the pact was not binding, “its adoption would engender commitments vis-à-vis the Dominican State likely to compromise its ability to apply its rules in matters of migration and to effectively implement its migration policies.”
The pact would also “create international commitments that would prevent, or severely limit, the Dominican State from dealing with situations that may occur at our land border due to structural conditions and processes,” he said.
Latvia voted against the pact saying it might in time be recognised as a source of international law and restrict Latvia’s rights to decide on its own migration policy.
The pact was also rejected by Italy where a parliament member and former Minister said: “it is exactly what is needed by those who have used illegal immigration in recent decades to complete the grand plan of financial speculation to deprive nations and people of their identity.”
A press release issued by the Polish government said the pact failed to meet its demands “regarding the confirmation of adequately strong guarantees of the sovereign right to decide who the countries accept in their territory and the distinction between legal and illegal migration.”
At the close of the Conference in Marrakech, at least 29 countries had not signed the pact.
U.N. Special Representative for International Migration Louise Arbour called moves to shun the pact “regrettable and mistaken.” The compact simply aimed to improve the management of cross-border movements of people, she said.
Already, however, there is growing uneasiness that the pact will be used to block deportations from Europe and Ireland.
The decision of the Irish government to sign the agreement without consultation with the Dail, an agreement which many countries have said amounts to giving the UN control of national borders regarding the movement of economic migrants from Africa and other economically impoverished parts of the world is being viewed with alarm.
Even at this point, it is not sure the issue will be tabled for debate by the Oireachtas.