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They will hire an official to combat misinformation around migration

A senior official will be appointed to fight misinformation and disinformation around migration.

The newly reconstituted Cabinet Committee on Migration met on Thursday. Ministers agreed that a civil servant at the rank of senior civil servant will be recruited in the Department for Children and tasked with working across government to improve communication on migration and integration at local and national levels.

The sources said the location and planning of future international protection sites and overall immigration policy “could be better communicated.”

Justice Minister Helen McEntee told the meeting that faster processing times for safe countries introduced in recent months have halved the number of people arriving in Ireland from those countries.

Helen McEntee said faster processing times for safe countries had halved the number of people arriving in Ireland from those countries.  Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Helen McEntee said faster processing times for safe countries had halved the number of people arriving in Ireland from those countries. Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Since November 2022, an accelerated process has been implemented for eight countries.

McEntee said Georgia was added to the list of safe countries when it had the highest number of applicants. Now it is not in the top 10. He said last month that his department is reviewing eight countries, which will be added to the list of states that the Government considers a safe country of origin in a matter of weeks.

The meeting also heard that legislation will be passed in June to close the loophole following the High Court ruling that the UK is not a safe country.

Ministers were told that the current situation means that a Nigerian who arrives in Ireland via the United Kingdom will be returned to Nigeria if their asylum application is unsuccessful. This was called “a clear signal” that people crossing the border should be aware that they will be sent home to Nigeria if a negative decision is made.

The committee was also told that the number of Ukrainians coming to Ireland has fallen dramatically since benefits were cut, although sources warned it is too early to say whether the two things are related. Last year, they said, about 500 people were arriving from Ukraine each week at this point, but that number has varied from 100 to 200 since new laws were passed.

Weekly payments to newly arrived Ukrainian refugees have increased from €220 to €38.80 per week. The Government has also introduced a 90-day limit for Ukrainian refugees staying in state accommodation.