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Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 379. Mr. Haughey Information on Seán Haughey Zoom on Seán Haughey  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  the issues he has raised with the Nigerian authorities in relation to the number of asylum seekers from that country coming here; if there is evidence of criminal activity in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24689/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell There are ongoing contacts between my Department and the Nigerian authorities on immigration matters generally, particularly in the context of the agreement on immigration matters which was signed by both Governments on 29 August 2001. This agreement was approved by Dáil Éireann on 28 March 2002. I inform the Deputy that these contacts primarily concern arrangements to facilitate the repatriation of Nigerian nationals who are not eligible to reside in the State, including the issue of Nigerian travel documents and the making of travel arrangements.

As regards the second part of the Deputy's question, it is internationally recognised that organised criminal gangs are heavily involved in people smuggling and this applies whether the intended purpose of the person in question is illegal immigration or the making of a claim for asylum. Nigeria is no different in that regard to a wide range of other source countries.

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