ASYLUM seekers in Cork are holding a protest tomorrow caling for refuge to be offered to those who have applied to remain and have been in situ in Ireland for the past five years.
The organiser of the ‘Aggrieved Asylum Seekers of Ireland’ group, Asad Muhmad, who was granted leave to remain in Ireland four months ago, is awaiting his Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card before leaving the Kinsale Road Direct Provision centre where he lives with his wife Zoya.
“I am very passionate about helping the asylum seekers at the centre,” Mr Muhmad said.
“I understand what they are going through and as long as I can help them, I will.”
Mr Muhmad said that a similar scheme was open to asylum seekers a number of years ago and it was time that this type of application was once again opened to those who fled their home country and who have been trying to gain permission to remain in Ireland for five years or more.
Speaking on behalf of the residents of the Kinsale Road centre, Mr Muhmad said that there were a number of problems with the asylum-seeking process here in Ireland and it was not uncommon for an application to drag on for five years or more.
Mr Muhmad said that deporting people after they have been in Ireland a number of years is very harsh and cited a case where a woman originally from Bangladesh tried to take her own life after being deported home after a number of years in Ireland.
“It can happen to anyone who gets deported after planning their life in Ireland.”
The refugee also said that there is a breakdown of communication within the legal system and many asylum seekers are not even aware of where in the process their application is. The protest is being held on Grand Parade between 1pm and 3pm tomorrow.