Ireland: Immigration officials to be deployed to Dublin homelessness office

Plans to deploy immigration officials to Dublin’s lead homelessness agency have been approved by Cabinet.

The move was agreed by ministers last Tuesday because of an increase in the number of non-EU nationals presenting as homeless, the Sunday Independent reports.

Ireland: Immigration officials to be deployed to Dublin homelessness office

According to a Department of Housing spokesperson, an immigration official will be based out of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) offices “on a pilot basis to assist with evaluating the status of households presenting to homeless services”.

The spokesperson added: “It should be noted that many non-Irish nationals presenting to homeless services will be entitled to housing supports and improved communications will reduce the time frequently involved in clarifying the entitlement of these households to housing supports.”

However, Dublin-based immigration solicitor Wendy Lyon told Irish Legal News that the planned diversion of Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) resources is “appalling”.

Ms Lyon said: “At a time when many applicants to INIS are waiting a year or more for a decision on their application, it’s appalling that INIS is diverting resources to policing the immigration status of migrants in need of emergency housing.”

Last week the High Court in London ruled that the ‘Right to Rent’, which makes landlords responsible for checking the immigration status of tenants, was in breach of human rights legislation.

Delivering his verdict, Mr Justice Martin Spencer ruled that the scheme breached the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it led to discrimination against non-UK nationals with the right to rent and British ethnic minorities.

The judge added it would be illegal to roll the scheme out in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland without further evaluation.

And this week Glasgow laid out plans to become the first city in the UK to pilot changes to the asylum process which would make it easier for people seeking asylum to build new lives.

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