Legal cases launched by Immigrant Council up 17 per cent
The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) opened 169 legal cases last year, a 17 per cent increase on the year before, according to new figures.
The NGO, which runs an independent law centre, has called for urgent immigration reform as it launches its Impact Report 2018.
Managing solicitor Catherine Cosgrave said: “During 2018 the Immigrant Council of Ireland answered more than 3,500 helpline calls and opened 169 legal cases, providing full legal representation in 50 cases.
“The majority of calls related to family reunification queries, but covered a wide range of issues from citizenship, residence security, business and work permits and EU Treaty Rights.
“In addition to practical support via our helpline and Independent Law Centre, we also engaged in a huge range of activities promoting migrant inclusion, challenging racism and supporting the rights of the most vulnerable migrants, including children and victims of trafficking.”
Ms Cosgrave added: “From our extensive experience it is clear the immigration system is crying out for reform. The people we support want and deserve a simpler, fairer system. One which clearly enumerates their rights and entitlements, is not over-burdened by unnecessary levels of bureaucracy and does not rely so heavily on discretion. Such a system would be more efficient for all involved.”
CEO Brian Killoran said: “I have always said that if anyone has negative or misinformed opinions of the motivations of those who choose Ireland as their new home, they should come and spend a day in our services.
“Those who approach us want to be joined by their family, they want a stable immigration status, job and financial security, so that they can work and provide and contribute. They want to overcome their difficult and sometimes horrific past and look to a future where they and their family can thrive. These are all of our concerns, all of our motivations, and these human, shared motivations are what give us strength.”