Many have seen the recent reports and photographs of students and workers queueing overnight at the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) in order to obtain required visa permissions to remain in the state. Under huge pressure from students, workers and allies the Department of Justice (DoJ) were forced to temporary alleviate the situation by placing more resources into processing claims, especially for re-entry visas.
Nevertheless, non-EEA students and workers continue to queue outside in freezing temperatures to obtain required, expensive paperwork because the Department of Justice has refused to implement necessary reforms in the immigration system.
Whereas we welcome statements promising reforms, we discern from past experience as well as the ongoing unwillingness of the DoJ to reform other broken immigration systems like Direct Provision, that continued pressure is the only approach that will see these reforms come to fruition.
We ask and encourage other international students and workers and allies, to please join us in our efforts to hold those responsible for the welfare of all who live in Ireland accountable.
We demand the immediate implementation of an online appointment system, and an end to endless queueing outside.
We demand that the DoJ immediately re-instate diversity training for all public servants in the GNIB/INIS so that students and workers do not continue to be subject to racist and denigrating treatment when attempting to fulfill their required visa obligations.
We demand an immediate review of the 100% increase in cost of student visas implemented in 2012, which places a huge burden on an already economically vulnerable population.
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- USi Ireland