Incarceration, disavowal and Ireland’s prison industrial complex

Incarceration, disavowal and Ireland’s prison industrial complex

Paper presented at the ‘Irish Prisons: incarceration, repression and control’ conference, Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast 26-27 October 2017.


In September 2014 residents of several asylum centres in Ireland staged protests against their incarceration. Since April 2000 asylum seekers have been dispersed to ‘Direct Provision’ centres, managed by private for-profit companies under the supervision of the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), an arm of the Department of Justice and Equality, costing the state around 50 million euro per annum. Residents, who get bed and board, are not allowed to work or access third level education, and until August 2017 were given a small weekly ‘residual income maintenance payment to cover personal requisites’ of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child, increased to €21.60 per adult and first to €15.60 and then to €21.60 per child per week (Bardon 2017). Steven Loyal (2011) describes the Direct Provision centres as Goffman’s (1991[1961]) ‘total institutions’, where residents are controlled as to what and when they eat, who they share rooms with, who can visit them, and what access they have to crèches, laundries, kitchen facilities and appliances, and argues that ‘the negatively socially valued category of “asylum-seeker” becomes their master status.’

Although the Direct Provision system was originally intended for no more than a six months stay, 19.5 per cent have stayed for over three years. The average length of stay was 38 months while 450 people had been living in Direct Provision for more than seven years, leading to people becoming de-skilled, bored, depressed, destitute, and institutionalised. By September 2017, there were 5,063 people in Direct Provision centres. Seven of the centres are State-owned, the others are operated by for profit companies (Gartland, 2016) – making the Direct Provision system part of what Angela Davis term the ‘prison industrial complex’.

Many asylum seekers live with deportation orders in a state of deportability (Lentin and Moreo 2015), arguably making them what the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben (1995) calls ‘bare life’, at the mercy of the laws of the sovereign state, which exempts itself from these very laws. And as Eithne Luibhéid (2013: 91) argues, ‘Direct Provision institutionalized the construct of the “asylum-seeker” as a distinct, undesirable type of person who must be subjected to relations of governance that were intended to deter, control, and incapacitate’.

The Direct Provision protesters demanded that all asylum centres be closed, that all residents be given the right to remain and work in Ireland, and that all deportations end. These demands are articulated by MASI, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, a platform for asylum seekers to join together in unity and purpose.

In October 2014, apparently in response to these protests, the government appointed a working group ‘to report to Government on improvements to the protection process, including Direct Provision and supports to asylum seekers.’ The Working Group was made up of representatives of migrant-support NGOs but had no significant representation of asylum seekers themselves. While the then deputy Justice Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin admitted that the Direct Provision system is ‘inhumane’, and that ‘the way we treat asylum seekers and people in the (Direct Provision) system says a lot about us as a country’, the Working Group was charged with reforming rather than closing the Direct Provision system (The Journal 2014).

The Working Group’s recommendations were largely not adopted by the government (although the Minister for Justice said in October at the Senead that 98 per cent were adopted), and the Direct Provision system remains in place. However, in 2016 the government increased the ‘comfort allowance’ paid to asylum seekers in Direct Provision centres by an insulting amount. In 2016 the government introduced the International Protection Act based on a Single Application Procedure. The new act raises serious concerns in relation to firstly, the erosion of refugee families’ reunification rights; secondly, the impact on the applicants already in the asylum process in relation to the availability of appropriate legal advice and sufficient time and resources to shorten the waiting time; and thirdly, the ease with which deportations could be effected. In May 2017 the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the absolute ban on asylum seekers working was unconstitutional (Carolan 2017), and in October 2017 the Minister for Justice announced the intention to give asylum seekers in Ireland the right to work after six months in Direct Provision, a problematic announcement as very few details have been worked out. Lucky Khambule will elaborate on these developments.

Against this background, this paper makes three interlinked propositions. Firstly, I propose that as Irish state and society managed to ignore Ireland’s system of ‘coercive confinement’: workhouses, mental health asylums, mother and baby homes, Magdalene Laundries and industrial schools (O’Sullivan and O’Donnell 2012), they also ‘manage not to know’ about the plight of asylum seekers in Direct Provision. The Direct Provision system isolates asylum applicants, makes them dependent on state handouts and carceral rules, and makes it difficult for them to organize on a national level. ‘Managing not to know,’ or disavowing, erases the Direct Provision system from Ireland’s collective consciousness, but I suggest that asylum seekers signify the return of Ireland’s repressed, confronting Irish people, themselves e/migrants par excellence.

Secondly, I propose that we must not theorize residents of the Direct Provision system as passive victims at the mercy of sovereign power, to whom everything is done, but rather as active agents of resistance.

Thirdly, and more broadly, the incarceration of asylum seekers must be seen as continuing the tradition of administrative detention of political prisoners in the north of Ireland and of the widespread Irish practice of incarceration. I therefore theorize the Direct Provision system as the current embodiment of the island of Ireland as two parallel carceral states, where the prison industrial complex has historically incarcerated one in every hundred people in the Republic and administratively detained political prisoners in the north. I conclude, following Angela Davis, by calling for the total abolition of imprisonment and incarceration.

Incarceration: Coercive confinement

According to the World Prison Population List, there has been a huge increase in the world’s population of penal institutions, from 8 million in 1999 to 10.2 million in 2013. The people held include pre-trial detainees, remand prisoners and sentenced prisoners. The 2017 prison population of the Republic of Ireland is 3,753, and the 2016 prison population of the north of Ireland was 1,482 (75 and 79 people per 100,000 respectively, low in comparison to 737 in the US, 615 in Russia and 148 in the UK, but high in comparison to 30 in India and Nigeria). The Republic’s prison population increased by 400 per cent between 1970 and 2011. The north of Ireland has a recent history of internment: in 1972, on the eve of direct rule from London, there were 924 internees, mostly housed at Long Kesh. By the end of 1974 there were more than 1,100 special category prisoners – about half of whom housed in the H-Blocks.

O’Sullivan and O’Donnell (2012: 2) include in the category of ‘coercive confinement’ patients in psychiatric hospitals, unmarried mothers in mother and baby homes and Magdalene laundries, children serving time in reformatory and industrial schools as well as prisoners. What they do not include, surprisingly, is neither the high proportions of foreign prisoners, nor the huge number of refugees and migrants detained by immigration systems throughout the world.

Foreign national prisoners: while in the United Arab Emirates foreign nationals make up 92.2% of prisoners, only 5.5% of prisoners in the US are foreigners. In Ireland in 2016 some 66 nationalities were represented in Irish jails: of 3,516 male prisoners in the Republic of Ireland, 441 (11.5%) were foreign nationals.

As for refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, of 65.6 million people around the world forced from home, 22.5 million are refugees, over half under 18. There are also 10 million stateless people denied a nationality and access to basic rights. Nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution.

Refugee detention:

According to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) (2014), each year some 600,000 migrants are deprived of their liberty on EU territory for ‘migratory management’ purposes. They are detained on the sole ground that they have failed to comply with rules on entry and stay, pending deportation. Having visited the refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last year, Pope Francis said that many of these refugee camps are akin to concentration camps.

Some figures:

The US has the largest immigration detention system in the world, detaining 380,000 to 442,000 persons per year – including legal permanent residents with longstanding family and community ties, asylum-seekers, and victims of human trafficking, detained for weeks, months, and sometimes years.  US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains people in over 200 county jails and for-profit prisons. Taxpayers spend about $2 billion per year with little accountability.

In Australia in January 2017 there were 1,351 refugees in detention facilities and in November 2015 29,008 people were permitted to live in the community on bridging visas. Resulting from Australia’s system of third country processing for asylum seekers who arrived by boat, in November 2015 1,469 asylum seekers (including 70 children) were incarcerated in the notorious privately managed detention camps in Nauru and Manus Island Papua New Guinea. Australia’s offshore immigration detention programme cost the federal government $5 billion since 2012.

The UK immigration detention system is one of the largest in Europe. From 2009 to the end of 2016 between 2,500 and 3,500 migrants were in detention at any given time. In 2016 28,900 people entered immigration detention, and the average cost of detention was £86 per person per day.

In Europe, with large numbers of refugees from the Middle East and central Asia, the costs are between $134 (Austria) and $201 (Belgium) per detained person per day.

In the Republic of Ireland there were 2,244 asylum applications in 2016, and in 2017 5,063 asylum seekers were residing in 32 Direct Provision centres. In 2016 the state paid €43.5m to eight for profit Direct Provision operators. Three contractors received more than €5 million each per year, including Avoca owner and international food and services giant Ararmak, which received €5.2 million, and the Co Mayo firm Bridgestock which received €5.8 million (Deegan 2016)

Denial and disavowal

Denial, according to Stanley Cohen (2001: 5-6), is a paradox. We must assume that when using the term ‘denial’ to describe a person’s statement ‘I didn’t know’, she knows about what it is that she claims not to know. The public shock about the revelations since the mid-1990s about the incarceration of unmarried women in ‘mother and baby homes’ and ‘Magdalene laundries’ and the abuse of thousands of children in Irish ‘industrial schools’ represents a disavowal of something Irish people were aware of but were repressing.

Ireland has a breathtaking history of incarceration. According to O’Sullivan and O’Donnell (2012), the Irish state locked up one in every 100 of its citizens in mental hospitals, Magdalene laundries, ‘mother and baby homes’ and industrial schools, continuing the legacy of the 1838 Irish Poor Law that established 130 workhouses to cater for the destitute poor (Fitzsimons 2014). At any given time between 1926 and 1951, there were about 31,000 people in these institutions. This also applied to children – one child in every hundred was enslaved in an industrial school. Fintan O’Toole (2012) links this vast incarceration to emigration, which ‘banished’ many ‘misfits’ who might otherwise have been locked up.

The fact that the Irish institutions of incarceration were located in of towns and cities throughout the country meant that claiming ‘not to know’ about them was disingenuous. According to O’Toole, the system served as a warning to the disobedient, particularly as family members were forcing pregnant daughters into Magdalene Laundries or ‘mother and baby homes’ and sending the hapless children of ‘bad’ or poor mothers to industrial schools where many were physically, sexually and emotionally abused. The harm done to the incarcerated, he writes, was augmented by the damage done to Irish society as it taught ‘a whole society very deep habits of collusion, of evasion and, perhaps most insidiously of all, of adaptation’.

The mechanism of denial – of what we actually know – can be illuminated by Freud’s (2003[1919]) work on the unfamiliar or ‘uncanny’: ‘that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar, which can become uncanny and frightening’. Freud argues that we often repress that which we are afraid of, which is familiar and known to us yet becomes estranged in the process of repression. And the repressed, he reminds us, always returns to haunt.

The incarceration system, which Irish society knew but chose not to know about was only acknowledged publicly in the mid-1990s after media revelations of the plight of children in industrial schools and women in Magdalene Laundries. The revelations began with television programmes including Louis Lentin’s ‘Dear Daughter’ and Mary Raftery’s ‘States of Fear,’ that led to the Murphy, Ryan and MacAleese reports, the Redress Board and to official apologies by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (for the industrial schools) and Taoiseach Enda Kenny (for the Magdalene Laundries).

I propose that the revelations that forced Irish society to acknowledge the abuse constitute the return of Ireland’s repressed. But they do not prevent Irish society’s present day ‘managing not know’ about asylum seekers living in dire conditions in Direct Provision centres. The disavowal is not accidental, but rather engineered by the state. The state chose to dehumanize and hide from view the plight of psychiatric patients incarcerated forcibly by families and the medical establishment, and of unmarried pregnant women spurned by Catholic Ireland (while the men who impregnated them enjoyed impunity), and of the hapless children of poor mothers who church and state punished for their mothers’ alleged ‘sins’. In the case of asylum seekers the story is complicated by state racism as the state chooses to racialize and dehumanize asylum seekers who it removes from sight and constructs as a (financial) ‘burden,’ enabling their disavowal by today’s Irish society.

As Luke Lemont (2017) says in his thoughtful paper on the theatrical representations of the industrial schools and the Magdalene Laundries (‘The Blue Boy’ and ‘Laundry’), present day Irish society can choose between remembering or forgetting the past evils that it had chosen – encouraged by church and state – to know and not know about at the time:

When the details of Ireland’s history of abuse and enslavement were made publicly available by the Ryan and McAleese reports, much of the rhetoric in defence of the institutions which perpetrated and perpetuated these crimes described that these were ‘different times’, it was a ‘different Ireland’. Productions like ‘The Blue Boy’ and ‘Laundry’ show us that the past is present; we can decide as a society what to prioritise, and who to remember.

Like its history of incarceration, Ireland’s refugee reception history is also shocking. Having refused to admit more than 60 Jewish refugees during the Nazi era between 1933 and 1946 (Lentin and Goldstone 1997), Ireland accepted small groups of Programme Refugees in 1956, 1972, 1979, 1985 and 1992 (Ward 1998). Asylum seekers (‘Convention Refugees’) began arriving in Ireland in the early 1990s: the number of applications increased from 39 in 1992 to a peak of 11,634 in 2002, decreasing ever since (Lentin and McVeigh 2006: 45). Between 2000 and 2017 Ireland received 75,726 asylum applications and since 2000 provided accommodation in Direct Provision centres for 59,165 applicants. The Direct Provision system is part of Ireland’s coercive enforcement system, as argued by Fiona Fitzsimons (2014):

Just like the old workhouses, the Direct Provision system has meal-breaks at specific times of the day and a ‘curfew’ system at night. But unlike the workhouses, the people detained in the Direct Provision system do not have the option of leaving. They haven’t broken any laws to end up there but they are in the Direct Provision system indefinitely as they wait for their case to be concluded.

Irish people adopt an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude to asylum seekers in Direct Provision centres that can be theorized as Agamben’s (2005) ‘zones of exception’ (Agamben 2005) or Fanon’s (1967) ‘zones of nonbeing’. Direct Provision centres ‘signal a sort of surplus of “bare life” that can no longer be contained within the political order of nation-states yet cannot be entirely disposed of, and is thus trapped in between spaces and statuses’ (Walters 2002:286). Thus isolated, asylum seekers, like the inmates of Ireland’s workhouses, psychiatric hospitals, industrial schools, Magdalene laundries and ‘mother and baby homes,’ are perched at the edge of Irish life, and disavowed as Irish society manages not to know of their existence.

In 2002, in the first edited collection on racism and antiracism in Ireland (Lentin and McVeigh 2002), I argued that during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ (remember?) Ireland’s vehement opposition to in-migration entailed a disavowal of the pain of emigration. The immigrant other represented the return of Ireland’s repressed painful experience of e/migration, known to every Irish family, but disavowed during the boom years. Denying that Irish people might be racist – having themselves been colonized and racialized by the British – and disavowing both the pain of emigration and the experiences of immigrants, Irish society was looking away, looking and not looking at the forbidden other, who represented what Irish people did not want to see, namely themselves, undressed.

Moving from 2002 to 2017 – with 17 years of Direct Provision, low refugee acceptance rates, and a growing housing and homelessness crisis – disavowal is again becoming apparent. The familiar of poverty and emigration is returning to haunt Ireland’s collective consciousness, making Irish people disavow, yet again, the plight of people seeking refuge in their midst. In the process Freud’s familiar becomes uncanny and frightening, enabling the denial not of what ‘we’ do not know, but of what ‘we’ know only too well.

The protests by asylum seekers in direct provision – extensively reported by social and mainstream media – confront Ireland with the return of its repressed as many Irish people make a choice to disavow asylum seekers languishing in Direct Provision centres.

Racialization and resistance

During the 2014 protests, asylum seekers spoke of the inadequate food, of being unable to cook for their families, about management providing out of date, insufficient food served at specific hours and not available out of hours, leaving many children hungry. Grievances included the indignity of parents forced to share a room with their children, often leading to inappropriate sexual behaviour by young children, and having to share rooms with strangers whose language they do not know (KRC 2014).

I was tempted to theorize asylum seekers as Agamben’s ‘bare life’, inmates in a space of exception that ‘distinguishes and separates what is inside from what is outside’ (Agamben 1995: 131), their lives controlled by the sovereign state and its agents – management and staff of the Direct Provision centres.

However, Agamben’s theory is ultimately inadequate because categorizing and incarcerating asylum seekers is deeply racialized, and his Eurocentric analysis does not focus on race (Weheliye 2014). Racialized differentiation was consolidated in Ireland by the 2004 constitutional referendum on citizenship which ended the 83 year old jus solis citizenship entitling all people born on the island of Ireland to Irish citizenship. Instead it introduced blood-based jus sanguinis citizenship, whereby only children born to citizens are entitled to citizenship, leaving thousands of children born in Ireland to non-citizen migrant parents without citizenship, in a permanent state of exception (Lentin and McVeigh 2006: 51-55).

Alexander Weheliye (2014) critiques Eurocentric theories of biopolitics (Foucault) and ‘bare life’ (Agamben) that link racism to the Nazi Holocaust, occluding the histories of colonialism, slavery and racialization. In its place he applies a black studies framework of ‘racializing assemblages’ that centres the en-fleshed experiences of dehumanization and categorization of people into fully human (in this case white Christian Irish people), not quite human (‘desirable’ white labour migrants), and non-human (non-white, non-Christian ‘undesirable’ asylum seekers and migrants, as well as Travellers).

Furthermore, though useful in critical race and migration studies, William Walters (2002: 188) critiques Agamben’s positing refugees as ‘subjects to whom all manner of things are done, often in arbitrary and violent ways, but rarely agents in their own right’. Positing asylum seekers as mere victims of sovereign governmentalities is far from the reality, as the protests by asylum seekers and the work of MASI (which Lucky Khambule will be speaking about) demonstrate.

It is however worth noting that the 2014 protests were not the first time refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland staged a protest. After the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, Ireland accepted 530 Hungarian refugees as part of the UNHCR resettlement programme. Settling them in an old army camp outside Limerick and expecting them to find work and not become a burden on the state did not provide ideal conditions. In 1958, they staged a hunger strike, and all but 61 of the original group had left, and those who remained were unemployed or dependent on the state (Ward 1998: 42).

In the mid-1990s a group of asylum seekers established the Association of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Ireland (ARASI) to campaign for the rights of asylum seekers and against racism. ARASI used demonstrations, lobbying, school visits and media campaigns, becoming the independent voice of asylum seekers. At the same time Irish refugee-support NGOs were competing with it for funding because, according to the UNHCR, ARASI was ‘becoming too aggressive’ and ‘too African’. The result was the appropriation of ARASI by the Spiritan Fathers, who after giving ARASI office space, ended up replacing it with their own organization, SPIRASI. Reflecting on what he calls SPIRASI’s ‘charity model colonial takeover’, former ARASI member Kensika Moshengwo says that when ARASI rebelled against the introduction of Direct Provision in 2000, members were prevented from visiting hostels to mobilize support, as SPIRASI took over ARASI’s activism (Lentin 2012: 51-6).

These examples illustrate two points. Firstly, ARASI members were able to mobilize because, prior to Direct Provision, they were free to reside in urban centres, mostly Dublin, and organize; by contrast, the Hungarian refugees were deprived of the freedom of movement. Secondly, the appropriation of ARASI by SPIRASI illustrates the disavowal and hiding of the voices of asylum seekers that are often taken over by white Irish NGOs.

This emphasizes the huge importance of the work of MASI and the Direct Provision residents in bringing their plight to public knowledge, enlisting the support of groups such as Anti-Racism Network Ireland and the Irish Housing Network. The protests demonstrate that theorizing asylum seekers in Direct Provision centres as subject to the sovereign’s arbitrary rule is inadequate and that the protests were ‘acts of resistance’ (Walters 2002) in the best sense of the word. As Mulhall and Titley (2014) argue, ‘the Department of Justice may gesture towards treating asylum seekers with “respect and dignity,” but it is hard to imagine a greater indignity than constantly being spoken about and for.’

Conclusion: Carceral Ireland

The African American activist and academic Angela Davis has coined the term ‘prison industrial complex’ to describe the widespread incarceration practices of the American state. According to Davis, problems such as homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages. Prisons and other coercive enforcement institutions are seen as performing the magic of disappearing these problems, though in fact they do not disappear the problems but rather disappear human beings. As Davis writes:

The practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business… and to keep the illusion of solving problems penal infrastructures must be created to accommodate a rapidly swelling population of caged people. Goods and services must be provided to keep imprisoned populations alive.

Taking into account the structural similarities and profitability of business-government linkages in the realms of military production and public punishment, the expanding penal system, Davis argues, should be characterized as a ‘prison industrial complex.’

Davis is clear about the link between the penal system and racialized structures and writes that in order to deliver bodies for profitable punishment, the political economy of coercive confinement institutions relies on racialized assumptions and on racist practices of detention and sentencing patterns. In the US, coloured bodies constitute the main human raw material in this vast experiment of disappearing major social problems. In Ireland, I propose, institutions of coercive enforcement, including psychiatric hospitals, Magdalene Laundries, industrial schools, and now Direct Provision centres, as well as northern prisons for ‘special category’ prisoners, were charged with disappearing social problems such as madness, female sexuality, poverty and the neglect of children, immigration, and so-called terrorism from public view.

Davis argues that the ‘prison industrial complex’ uses for profit companies to disappear problems such as poverty, homelessness, drug use, mental illness and illiteracy from view for the benefit of both state and capital – and in the process manages to disappear people rather than those problems. Likewise, the vast incarceration of thousands of people in Ireland, most of whom have committed no crime, benefits both state and business.

In the US, as prisons proliferate, private capital becomes enmeshed in the punishment industry, depending on racist structures and ideologies to render mass punishment palatable and profitable, and making prisons increasingly important to the US economy. Likewise, the long embedded history of incarceration in both the Republic and the north of Ireland, and the involvement of the church in managing institutions of coercive incarceration, where profit from the inmates’ free labour and from the sale of babies for adoption, mostly abroad, and the involvement of private businesses in running the Direct Provision system, mean that the two states of Ireland are textbook examples of carceral states, where the ‘prison industrial complex’ operates in insidious ways.

While we cannot argue that the north of Ireland did not know of the existence of the special category prisoners or of the so-called ‘Troubles,’ the legacy of the ‘Troubles’ continues to haunt. At the same time it undergoes a clean-up process of marketing northern Irish expertise in reconciliation and post-conflict justice at the cost of disavowing the troubling past.

Meanwhile, the Republic’s Justice Minister Charles Flanagan describes the Direct Provision system as a benign service that offers asylum seekers, ‘on behalf of the Irish people’, ‘immediate shelter, full board accommodation and a range of services, such as health and education while their application for international protection are in the course of being processed.’ The direct provision system, he further said, ‘is a guarantee that every person who walks into the international protection office today will tonight have a bed, food, showering facilities, medical care, information and access to a wide range of services. Such people will not be forced to spend the night on the streets or be left to their own devices to look for emergency housing, as in the early years under previous Governments. They will not be vulnerable to ruthless criminals stealing any welfare payment that would replace direct provision and leaving them in abject poverty. In almost two decades, I have yet to hear a credible alternative being proposed to the current system.’

Here is another denial: this benign and rather sanctimonious description of Direct Provision is part and parcel of the Irish denying they can be racist, and of state racism that, as Alana Lentin (2017) argues, actually reproduces racial violence:

‘Not racism’ can be witnessed in definitions of racism that either sideline or deny race both as an historical phenomenon and as experienced by racialized people… the emphatic nature with which ‘not racism’ is declared today can be seen as the culmination of a protracted period of debate and denial. The current period, during which we are witnessing a deepening and expansion of systemic, state and popular racism against migrants and asylum seekers, the undocumented, Indigenous people, Muslims and Black people is, I suggest, accompanied by an ever more vigorous denial that these phenomena are racist.

There is little doubt that the DP system aims to hide away the ‘problem’ of asylum and stress the need to integrate asylum seekers into ‘our way of doing things.’ The state hiding asylum seekers from view has led to Irish society managing to not to know about Direct Provision just as they managed not to know about the coercive incarceration of thousands of Irish people in the ‘corrective’ institutions of the past.

In line with Davis calling for the total abolition of policing and prisons, I join asylum seekers and their supporters in calling for ending the Direct Provision system, granting all asylum seekers residency and the right to work, and abolishing all forms of coerced enforcement in Ireland and elsewhere.


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