I am writing this before the case has been decided and before we know whether a Nigerian mother who is seeking asylum in Ireland for herself and her daughters is allowed to remain in Ireland.
Much has been said about Pamela Izevbekhai’s case. Her recent admission, on the Marion Finnucane show, that her asylum claim was based on forged documents provided a dramatic turning point not only in her own case, but in the whole complex relations between the Irish state and African, particularly Nigerian, asylum seekers.
Translocations – the Irish inter-university ejournal for migration, race and social change – is in danger of closing. In NUI Cork, migration studies is threatened with closure. and what about Ireland’s other migration studies projects?
No one has heard from the Minister of Integration Conor Lenihan for weeks – once his budget was cut by 26%, he stopped making public appearances. Some might say that this is just we well, but the fact remains that the issues of immigration, and integration, and interculturalism, and equality seem off the agenda in the new climate of panicky economic meltdown. Migrants from Eastern Europe, we are being told, are going home in their thousands (a recent report in the Guardian put the figure at 1,200 per week returning to Poland from Britain and Ireland). Asylum applications are the lowest to date. And while deportations continue on the quiet, there is no talk about it. Nor have we heard much talk about language acquisition, education issues, service provision, housing.