Oxfam calls on Irish Government to condemn US Executive Order barring refugees and immigrants

Oxfam calls on Irish Government to condemn US Executive Order barring refugees and immigrants

  • Urgent review of US pre-clearance system in Irish airports now required
  • Ireland cannot stay silent while door is slammed on thousands of vulnerable people

Monday January 30th, 2017

Oxfam Ireland has urged the Irish Government to make a public statement condemning the recent US Executive Order banning the entry of refugees and immigrants of certain nationalities and to call for it to be rescinded with immediate effect.

Oxfam said that following the Executive Order Ireland should conduct an urgent review of the US pre-clearance system available in Irish airports and suspend the pre-clearance agreement if it finds Irish or international human rights law is being violated, in line with the calls of leading Irish human rights lawyers.

Oxfam Ireland Chief Executive Jim Clarken said: “Ireland cannot stay silent while the door is slammed on thousands of vulnerable men, women and children being refused safety. Those impacted are among the world’s most vulnerable people, many of whom are simply trying to find a safe place to live after fleeing unimaginable violence and loss.”

Mr Clarken said Ireland should show leadership by publicly pledging to increase the number of refugees in the resettlement programme and play a role in filling the void left by the actions of the US government, ensuring that some of those denied access to the US find a safe haven in Ireland. 

Jim Clarken said: “Barriers to refugees entering Ireland also need to be addressed. So far just over 750 people have arrived in Ireland since the Irish Government pledged in 2015 to take in 4,000 refugees. The slow pace of response is unacceptable given the daily trauma faced by those fleeing war and conflict.”

Globally, Oxfam is calling for increased resettlement of the most vulnerable refugees, as well as for governments to offer expanded opportunities for family reunification and to allow safe passage through the use of humanitarian visas. Inside Europe, Oxfam is also calling on governments to develop a fairer and more effective asylum system and for conditions in countries hosting large numbers of people who have fled their homes to be improved, including through expanded opportunities for employment and education.

Oxfam Ireland’s recent ‘Right to Refuge’ campaign was supported by 34,000 across the island of Ireland, calling on political leaders to do more to help people on the move.

Jim Clarken added: “Thousands of people in Ireland and around the world already support the right of people forced to flee their homes to seek refuge. Political leaders must not stand by while refugees are left in limbo and vilified.”

ENDS

Contact: Sorcha Nic Mhathúna, Communications Manager, Oxfam Ireland, +353 83 1975 107, sorcha.nicmhathuna@oxfamireland.org

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