So when I read this morning that the current Minister for Justice and Law Reform, who presides over amongst other things, the immigration system, announced that he is quitting politics and that he would be ‘extremely interested in doing some work in or associated with the third world in the future’ I just laughed out loud!
I mean this is the same Minister whose officials have previously deported a mother back to Nigeria without her baby (child remained in Ireland and was placed in care – thankfully that child only just recently reunited with his mother).
The same minister who is currently trying to rush through an immigration bill that would allow for summary deportations, would stop foreigners marrying EU citizens because they might ‘use marriage to circumvent the immigration system’ and is refusing to acknowledge in that same bill that vulnerable children who are come to Ireland seeking protection should be given extra protection as accorded to them by international conventions. Really, the list goes on.
Basically, here is a minister whose Department’s unwritten rule is basically ‘Keep as Many of Them Out As Possible’. And I don’t need to tell you who ‘Them’ are! Yet it is the same ‘Them’ that he is extremely interested in working with in the future.
Yes, you could argue that this is par for the course for any immigration minister especially in Fortress Europe, but this particular one has shown a particularly mean streak which in turn has been reciprocated by his subordinates who carry out his edicts.
After one particularly robust exchange at a parliamentary committee stage hearing of the aforementioned bill, which I attended, one opposition (TD) member of parliament whose very reasonable proposed amendments had been routinely ignored, remarked that the minister could start an argument (I would even suggest a brawl) in a convent full of nuns.
So you can understand why I laughed out loud at the brilliant irony of it all!
I suppose the more charitable amongst us could give him the benefit of doubt and proclaim he is embarking on his Damascus conversion, à la Saul, but this to me is akin to sending King Herod to run a Montessori creche!