Dublin locals protest housing of asylum seekers. East Wall locals marched down the Quays toward Dublin Port in protest over the recent housing of asylum seekers in the ESB Building. The locals travelled across the Samuel Beckett Bridge toward the Five Lamps on Amiens Street.
An Irish local tweeted “people are not blaming refugees.” Based on the tweet, the blame lands on the Government’s asylum policy. For instance, several locals claim that the government has not placed a cap on immigration into Ireland.
Another belief is that asylum seekers are engaging in passport obliteration to frustrate deportation efforts. Indeed, solicitor Malachy Steenson stated on Red FM 104 that 40% of asylum seekers “lose their passport between boarding the plane and getting off.” According to Steenson, the advantage of destroying one’s passport is that one can “spin any story they want.”
Steenson is not wrong. The Irish Times reported that thousands of asylum seekers arrive at Dublin Airport with no travel documents.
Conor Gallagher claims approximately 2,915 people who filed asylum claims did not produce travel documents at the Irish border.
There are two theories behind passport obliteration. First, passport obliteration allows a person to enter a country without their true identity being known to officials. Second, passport obliteration lies down an anchor in the country. Hence, immigration officials cannot deport an individual to a country if they do not know what country the individual fled.
While engagement in passport obliteration could be for the reasons Steenson claims, it may also be for other reasons. For example, an individual may engage in passport obliteration because their country of origin has a low Convention Refugee Declaration approval rate.
East Wall’s call for a referendum to change Ireland’s current immigration policy has now garnered 1,793 signatures. It’s 1,000 signature goal has been revised to 2,500.