Amid the targeted mania at abolishing the Republic’s already lenient Direct Provision system, the media-NGO narrative has been temporarily punctured by rather stern comments by the Department of Housing.
In response to last month’s Day Report commissioned by the Department of Justice, which effectively granted open borders lobbyists a blank cheque, the Department of Housing has responded in kind. They warn that such plans to liberalise the asylum process would come at a cost of impairing an already meagre housing supply, and likely resulting in refugees leapfrogging citizens on the housing list.
The Day Report was chaired by former Secretary General to the EU Commision, Catherine Day, and had strong input from left-wing activist groups, MASI Ireland included. The report layed out a phased plan to abolish Direct Provision and implement further reforms to the system of asylum processing in the country, and to direct applicants towards the rental market.
Providing bed, board ,accommodation increasingly in sequestered hotels as well as a right to work and a stipend Direct Provision is the asylum purgatory where failed applicants are sent while continually reapplying.
The system of DP in Ireland has been critiqued from the Right for being a racket, owing to the sheer amount of bogus asylum seekers and disproportionate numbers of applicants from safe nations like Albania and Georgia. Regardless, Direct Provision has become a rallying point for the open borders commentariat on campuses, and on the national airwaves.
Among the proposals included in the Day report.
- Blanket amnesty for all Direct Provision residents resident in the state longer than 2 years with increased access to the labour market and full access to welfare system granted.
- Abolition of Direct Provision by 2023 replaced by a beefed up ‘Irish Reception System’ able to process 3,500 applicants per year likely at a minimum overseen by the Department of Housing.
- Obtaining ‘own door’ accommodation for 7,685 current applicants currently in the system using the private rental market as well as the 3,500 expected per annum afterwards under the new system all in urban areas. Currently the Republic constructs circa 21,000 units of housing per year with this down to 15,000 with the pandemic and plans only to increase this to 25,000-30,000 by 2040.
- A three stage system of accommodation for asylum seekers with after an initial 3 months stay at a reception centre (with immediate access to social welfare) followed by assistance to move into their personal accommodation with assistance from Housing Assistance Payment that normal citizens receive.
While the current Direct Provision regime costs the state coffers €178.5 million, according to the report this new dispensation would come in at costs to the taxpayer of €35.9 million , though they fail to provide a proper explanation on how they arrived at this number.
In short the Day report is the one lobbied for by the open borders lobby in this country, and the report they got through having a foot in the door with the Department of Justice.
Reacting to this, and likely biting their tongue, the Department of Housing has replied with the simple truth that Day Report proposals will logjam the Irish housing market for a generation if fully actioned. Pointing out that such proposals would have a detrimental as well as significant effect on prices, homelessness and would likely prioritise asylum seekers over citizens it is a surprising departmental breaking of the ranks on immigration.
Quoting from the Department’s response.
“The addition of 7,685 Direct Provision residents into the market immediately and the subsequent demand of approximately 3,500 per annum that would arise in future years could foreseeably have a displacement effect for low to medium income families currently in rented accommodation”
The response went on to query some of the findings of the report including its figures and called into question the ability of already struggling local authorities to facilitate a sudden surge in demand.
Furthermore the Department of Housing went on to argue that the provisions in the Day Report would create a parallel system of housing with low income individuals and families forced to compete with asylum seekers.
“The recommendations in the draft plan will essentially create an environment where homeless individuals and families in emergency accommodation or at risk of homelessness will be directly competing for rental accommodation with those currently in Direct Provision and it is inevitable, given the constraints in housing supply, that one of the impacts will be to increase the monthly numbers reported by Government for those individuals and families in emergency accommodation and experiencing homelessness.
The recommendations, if implemented, would also mean that local authorities would have to use their own stock, which was meant for social housing applicants, to meet a mandatory requirement to house asylum seekers.”
Towards the end of the report the Department additionally points out the rather salient fact that the failure to address very clear abuses in the system and low level of deportations as an additional source of concern.
Overall the reply by the Department of Housing is a surprising shot across the bow at the open borders clique that has run rampant since they were temporarily hobbled with the citizenship referendum in 2004. The hysteria with regards Direct Provision has lost all bearing on reality, with proposals to effectively direct 10-20% of housing units in urban areas to what are failed asylum seekers bordering on madness.
With increasing agitation towards abolishing Direct Provision now accepted by the political mainstream, as well as strident moves to challenge birthright citizenship laws one wonders at which point the current will begin to turn. There is no system of asylum that can function without weeding out clear abuses such as witnessed in Direct Provision.
Direct Provision is farcical in the extent to which it has been allowed to be overloaded with absurd claimants to the point of squeezing out real applicants and damaging local communities who have seen local hotels hoovered up by the Department of Justice often to unscrupulous politically-connected gombeens.
One of the main contributors and part of the advisory group for the Day Report was Bulelani Mfaco, a left-wing activist and South African asylum seeker. Mfaco filed his own claim to asylum only after first completing a Masters in UCD, and the fact that he was turned down and faces deportation sums up the total charade of the Report.
The Day Report is a shopping list for the most outlandish of open border policies that can be inflicted on a nation. The years of journalistic sensationalism against Direct Provision minus any comprehension of the need to deal with abuse in the system will potentially manifest itself in an even worse housing disaster down the line and one which the protected left wing operators who caused it will not claim any responsibility for beyond bemoaning structural racism at a government that already has bent the knee entirely for their whims.
This decade will see patent contradictions juggling the multiple issues of housing, migration and environmentalism come to the fore with Irish Left and State more generally. While lurking in the corner for now we can only hope to pounce on these contradictions when the inevitable disaster occurs and the adults in the room regain control again.