Wise Up Journal
By Greg O’Brien
Immigrants are not to blame for immigration social welfare abuse; it is legal to abuse and deplete Ireland ‘s social welfare purse. Detailed below is how far the economic hole has been dug that most people are not aware of and what is responsible for legalising fraud.
Around the time of the second Nice Treaty referendum in 2002 there was much debate about immigration and accusations of racism and hyperbole directed at the No campaigners by all the Yes side in the campaign. The politicians and employers organisations significantly downplayed the effect this would have on Ireland ‘s labour market. It was clear from the beginning that there would be a flood of cheap labour and that this would completely distort the market and social fabric of our society. However powerful vested interests wanted a large pool of cheap labour to force down wages and conditions to increase the bottom line. So began the propaganda war with clichés and slogans to bring this about and dispel any opposition. We began to see the terms “multiculturalism”, “open economy”, “competition” and “doing the jobs the Irish no longer want to do”. Anyone who questioned the official rhetoric was automatically branded a racist trying to bring the country back into the dark ages.
It is a disgraceful xenophobic myth that there will be a threat of a flood of migrant workers coming to Ireland ……. This is the worst and most unworthy objection I have heard to the Nice treat… It is a shameful and distasteful piece of propaganda…. There is no credible reason to believe enlargement will be accompanied by large movements of people. All the evidence points in the opposite direction .
-Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Mr. Roche), 12th September 2002
At the time of enlargement of the EU to the ten new accession States only three of the existing fifteen Member States allowed full access to their labour markets for workers from these States. Ireland , Britain and Sweden opened their doors fully to seventy five million people, mostly from the poor former communist Eastern European countries. Meanwhile Germany and France, the two biggest proponents of ever closer union and the drivers of political integration along with the other Member States made the decision to shut their doors for seven years we are told officially in a last minute opt out provided by the EU.
“Mr. XXXX also repeats the line propagated by the No to Nice campaign that
only four countries are to permit immigration after enlargement. This
statement grossly misrepresents the position of the other member states.”
– Dick Roche I.T. Letters Aug/Sept. 2002.
At the time the government introduced new legislation to stop what it termed “welfare tourism”. This was rushed through the Dail at the last minute in response to similar legislation introduced in the UK . There was much media fanfare at the time that this would prevent fraud and abuse of our social welfare system and that all immigrants would have to meet new habitual residency requirements, including being in the State at least two years before receiving any social welfare payments.
However the EU had other ideas and outsmarted the national governments by introducing a new Directive on the Free Movement of People in 2004. This replaced the previous Directive and considerably expanded its scope. This Directive has had a huge detrimental financial effect and has undermined our immigration policy but you would not know it from any reports in the mainstream media. It has effectively allowed the EU jurisdiction over our borders and opened up the door to fraud, huge social welfare payments and abuse of our hospitality.
“It is a deliberate misrepresentation to suggest that tens of thousands will suddenly descend en masse on Ireland .”
-P. De Rossa I.T. Letters, 20 August 2002
The Directive is a carefully crafted document which is foremost a political agenda and is designed to push integration, harmonization and mass movement of people to fulfil the beliefs held by elites’ while undermining national identities and labour markets. It entitles all EU citizens to the same social welfare payments as Irish people regardless of their contribution to the State. It eliminated the so called two year rule for social welfare payments which our government introduced with great fanfare. Jobseekers’ Benefits which was provided for Irish people after one years contributions and Jobseekers’ Allowance which was provided on a means test basis for people with less than one years contributions suddenly became open to anyone who could prove habitual residency. This meant that the workers from other EU countries were now allowed social welfare for less than one years work in the State. Furthermore they were entitled to Family Income Support and Child Benefit from day one. What emerged was Child Benefits being sent to the home countries of these workers and Family Income Support being used to prop up workers in low paid jobs.
By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the host Member State shall not be obliged to confer entitlement to social assistance during the first three months of residence or, where appropriate, the longer period provided for in Article
The myth of cheap labour started to become apparent, it was not cheap labour but in fact subsidised labour providing cheap workers for the vested interests at taxpayers’ expense. Other social costs started to become apparent, including schooling, healthcare, housing and translation services . This added to the costs of immigration while the wages for the majority of these workers were around minimum wage hence they did not contribute much to the tax base.
” Ireland will be in precisely the same position as all other member states
on the question of free movement following any enlargement of the
-Dick Roche, Irish Times, September 2002
The politicians pointed to the fact that we are also entitled to the same benefits when we move to other EU countries however if we look at some of the schemes in place it’s clearly not a level playing field . For example in Poland you have to be working for a minimum of ten years before you are entitled to any social welfare and even then it’s a very basic allowance. In Italy there is no social welfare at all as we know it but food stamps are supplied for the needy.
A great deal of foreign qualifications from highly experienced nurses and doctors and other professionals are not recognised as valid. This excludes a source of professionals from entering their respective professions here. The expected increase in doctors, nurses, architects, dentists to help expand competition never occurred. Again this was not put in to the conscience of the public by the media while they promoted the myth of competition and multi-culturism. For example we have a large number of doctors from Somalia in our hospitals but almost none from Poland . Are we to believe that doctors from Ireland or Somalia have greater education and expertise than doctors from Poland which has a more advanced healthcare system than ours?
” I estimate that fewer than 2,000 will choose our distant shores each year.”
-P. De Rossa I.T. Letters 20 August 2002
The Directive also applies to non-EEA family members of EU citizens and this is where the fraud has come about. It provides for five year residence cards for spouses, partners, children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, great-grandparents and any other family member who are deemed to be a member of the household or dependant of the EU citizen or their non-EEA spouse or partner.
A huge market for marriages of convenience has developed. By far the greatest numbers of applications for residence cards are from Pakistani students and Nigerian asylum seekers married to Eastern European women . When high levels of marriages between two cultures occur normally there would be a historical, cultural or language connections. With this high rate in welfare state Ireland there are none.
There is almost no discretion allowed for the authorities to refuse these applications because the EU Directive allows for minimum standards to apply. As long as the EU citizen has the most basic job or is in some form of education or is deemed to be a jobseeker the authorities cannot refuse residence for the spouse (Article 7 of the Directive). When it comes to marriages that fall under EU law, marriages to non-Irish citizens, no provisions are allowed to make sure that they have been living together or married for a minimum amount of time. Nor can evidence of financial viability be requested. The Irish authorities have their hands bound by EU law.
In 2008 a case was referred to the ECJ as up until that time the Irish authorities refused to grant residence cards to non-EEA family members unless they could show prior residence in another Member State before moving to this State. This was how the Directive was interpreted into national legislation as it was assumed the Directive only applied to movement from one Member State to another:
“3(2) These Regulations shall not apply to a family member unless the family member is lawfully resident in another Member State and is –
(a) seeking to enter the State in the company of a Union citizen in respect of whom he or she is a family member, or
(b) seeking to join a Union citizen, in respect of whom he or she is a family member, who is lawfully present in the State.”
This was overturned by the ECJ in the “Metock” case which judged that the Irish authorities could not request evidence of prior residence in another Member State . The judgement further stated that evidence required for an application was limited to what was in the EU Directive, thus allowing for the fraud to expand and reducing the powers of discretion of national authorities while eating up dwindling taxpayers’ money. The EU prefers states inter-depended on it rather than a nation being strong enough to go it on their own establishing international trading partners with other nations themselves. The EU wants you to need it.
Once they receive a residence card they are automatically entitled to the same social welfare payments as Irish nationals, as holding a residence card is seen as meeting the habitual residence requirements irrespective of how long they have been in the State .
Any asylum seeker or illegal immigrant can now enter the country, get married after giving three months notice, and apply for a residence card straight away. The majority, approximately 90% , of asylum seekers are refused asylum because their applications are deemed to be bogus. This is a long process with appeals and other applications allowed for leave to remain and subsidiary protection. The majority of asylum seekers don’t provide any passport or acceptable form of identification and no information can be requested regarding the applicant from the authorities in their country of origin who they claim they are fleeing from. It is quite possible that these people are criminals on the run from other authorities in other countries.
The marriages of convenience allow them to bypass the normal immigration process and apply for residence as soon as they are married. Once they have provided the minimum standard of evidence they automatically receive a five year residence card, which is upgraded to a ten year residence card on expiry.
Having acquired the residence card they are now entitled to bring in family members from their country of origin . Everyone from parents, grandparents and children of the applicant to siblings, neighbours can apply based on either being a family member of the applicant or a member of the household or dependant of the EU citizen. Again the most basic evidence is all that can be requested. Furthermore they are entitled to the same social welfare benefits and entitlements as an Irish citizen. Unbelievably if they marry citizens from any other Member State they are actually entitled to more benefits than if they marry an Irish citizen because the EU Directive provides for more benefits than our national legislation and does not apply to Irish people living here.
Having a criminal record does not exclude people from applying unless it can be categorically proven that they will commit crimes in this State. Hence a long history of previous crimes, if they ever come to light, can be excluded under the EU Directive. Even those that have committed crimes in the State end up taking endless legal challenges and costing considerable expense to the taxpayer. Most immigrants have access to the High Court that Irish citizens can only dream about courtesy of our legal industry.
Measures taken on grounds of public policy or public security shall comply with the principle of proportionality and shall be based exclusively on the personal conduct of the individual concerned . Previous criminal convictions shall not in themselves constitute grounds for taking such measures.”
We now have over 80,000 foreign nationals on the dole courtesy of our generous social welfare policies and the taxpayers. This again doesn’t take into account subsidised housing, education and healthcare as well as income support for low wage earners and other back to work or training allowances. This money could have been used to improve services in our society. The EU has dug a massive financial hole in Irish society.
At a time of record unemployment another 56,000 PPS numbers have been allocated to foreign nationals in 2009.
The myth of cheap labour is just that, a myth, perpetuated to drive down wages, exploit foreign nationals and transfer wealth from taxpayers to the employer organisations, landlords and various other vested interests in our society. Just remember this fleecing should not be blamed immigrants these laws come from the top. We have been duped on a grand scale, criticise it and you may end up being branded as a ‘racist’.