“What affects us most…”

A RTÉ report refers, in particular, to one response from Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in relation to the proposal for a strengthened e-border – as noted here. But his argument – “What affects us most is people entering the UK illegally and coming across the Border to the Republic” – ignores some of the other reasons behind the need to re-inforce border controls.. along a virtually non-existent Maginot line. Reasons such as this. And that’s before the effect of cross-border smugglers, or some of the benefits of implementing Schengen, are considered. Nevermind those other, more global, considerations.. Update According to Mark Devenport’s blog

UPDATE: A Home Office statement says “There are no plans to require domestic passengers to produce passports on all domestic air and sea journeys”. So does that mean NI passengers won’t have to produce one to sail to Stranraer?

If it does, those new UK border controls will have to be mirrored by the Republic of Ireland if they’re to be effective.

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  • Outsider

    Illegal immigration would be a significant reason for this scheme and both NI, ROI and mainland UK all need to tighten their borders as all three areas have taken all the immigration they can accomodate.

  • Pete Baker

    Outsider

    Pay closer attention to the detail – illegal immigration across the Border to the Republic is not the driving force behind this proposal.

  • Outsider

    If you would pay closer attention to my post I was stating that illegal immigration is going to be one of the main reasons although the ROI government are not going to come out a say this for fear of being branded racist.

  • Pete Baker

    Outsider

    You need to re-read your actual comment.. and the original post.. rather than what you might have thought you said.

  • Outsider

    What I meant to say in my original post is that illegal immigration is the main reason for this scheme with smuggling being presented as a smokescreen.

  • Pete Baker

    So you agree with Bertie..

    *shakes head*

  • susan

    Pete, I’m having difficulty with this one. Are you saying illegal immigration is being used as a smokescreen for concern about smuggling and the presence of immigrants with possible links to foreign terrorist groups?

    I read all the links, but I’m unclear if you believe those reasons already are a bigger concern to the Irish gov’t than illegal immigrantion, or if you are arguing that they should be a bigger concern?

    *improbably rotating one ear clockwise, one ear anti-clockwise*

  • Pete Baker

    Sorry susan

    It had already been a long day by the time the conversation with outsider began.

    What I was saying was that Bertie’s proffered reason for the need for a strengthened e-border for the Republic ignores the actual reasons why it’s now become an issue for the UK government.

    i.e. Ireland’s weak border controls have allowed a flourishing market in the trafficking of all many of people and goods into Ireland and the UK.

  • susan

    I understand, Pete.

    I’m glad you think trafficking is now a front-burner concern. I’d like to believe so — I hope you are right.

  • Wilde Rover

    “i.e. Ireland’s weak border controls have allowed a flourishing market in the trafficking of all many of people and goods into Ireland and the UK.”

    So, what you are saying is Ireland should do a better job to repel unwanted foreigners and their nefarious wares?

    *collapses on floor from irony overdose*

  • George

    Pete,
    are you saying that the flow of illegal immigrants is greater south to north than north to south?

  • joeCanuck

    Very droll Wilde Rover.
    But to get back to the substance (excuse pun – see later)some of those wares are nefarious indeed, being heroin and cocaine.
    Not only are they being transhipped, they are also blighting the lives of many young Irish people.

  • Pete Baker

    George

    All I’m doing is pointing to Bertie’s suggestion that, “actually, this will be good for the Republic because, you know, the vast majority of the illegal immigrants we get are from the North!”*

    ..and the absence of the other points made in the original post.

    *paraphrased

  • Wilde Rover

    “But to get back to the substance (excuse pun – see later)some of those wares are nefarious indeed, being heroin and cocaine.
    Not only are they being transhipped, they are also blighting the lives of many young Irish people.”

    Very true joeCanuck.

    But the idea below is the solution to the problem?

    “UK citizens will carry biometric ID cards and foreign nationals staying longer than six months will need a biometric ID card.

    Mr Ahern told the Dáil that if the UK is introducing such measures the sensible thing for Ireland is to introduce a similar system.”

    The only connection I can see between an ID card and the “war on drugs” is their potential use as a tool to chop up cocaine

  • susan

    I was referring to human trafficking, Wilde Rover. Although I’m not clear yet on whether ID cards would help prevent human trafficking, or increase the vulnerability of victims once here.

  • Rory

    When you refer to “human trafficking”, Susan, I take it that you intend to mean the bringing of people into a country by subterfuge or force, for the purposes of prostitution or a form of slave labour.

    If this is correct I really don’t see how the issuing of biometric ID cards would help deter this appalling practice as the unfortunates who are so exploited would not be required to have any documention other than their own national passports, work permits and visas all pretty easily arranged by pimps and gangmasters at present.

    On the other hand the one undoubted beneficial effect (and probably the only one) of implementing such ID systems would be that it would be a nice little earner for the executives and shareholders of the companies who supply the cards, for which bounty they would no doubt be unfailingly grateful to the political masters who made it all happen. Isn’t that nice?

  • susan

    “I really don’t see how the issuing of biometric ID cards would help deter this appalling practice as the unfortunates who are so exploited would not be required to have any documention other than their own national passports, work permits and visas all pretty easily arranged by pimps and gangmasters at present.

    On the other hand the one undoubted beneficial effect (and probably the only one) of implementing such ID systems would be that it would be a nice little earner for the executives and shareholders of the companies who supply the cards, for which bounty they would no doubt be unfailingly grateful to the political masters who made it all happen. Isn’t that nice?

    Posted by Rory on Oct 25, 2007 @ 01:34 PM

    I’m inclined to agree with you, Rory. I was just leaving the door open for further debate and discussion.

    *burnishing halo”

  • How is this supposed to addrss illegal noth-south migration, if there are no id checks on the border?

  • Pete Baker

    Tom

    I suspect Bertie’s pointing to weak UK border controls letting the illegal immigrants into the UK first.

    Yep. It’s the Brits fault. ;o)

  • Greenflag

    How is this supposed to address illegal north-south migration, if there are no id checks on the border?

    A good question TG and one which deserves an answer.

    Presumably our/their bureaucrats will erect a system similar to the Green and Red customs channels at the airport with some modifications of course .

    From the NI side Irish , British or EU or legal immigrant will use the clearly marked Green ‘Legal Channel ‘ The clearly marked Orange ‘Illegal Channel ‘ will be for the undesirables/unwanted /non documented etc etc. The Orange Channel will be of an elongated oval construction which will take the ‘illegals ‘ back to NI 🙂 From the Republic the colour scheme of the channels will be reversed 🙂

  • I know it’s way out in left field, but, if the e-border is implemented, will the Home Office subsidise passports for Northern Irish residents, as they are the most likely to be effected, and least likely to be able to pay? And, would people that get an Irish and British passport and therefore be a exempted, as in each country they could be considered natives, a returning national on the their disembarqment, rather than a foreign national?

  • Wilde Rover

    “I was referring to human trafficking, Wilde Rover. Although I’m not clear yet on whether ID cards would help prevent human trafficking, or increase the vulnerability of victims once here.”

    Ah yes Susan, but it seems that the ID card is a panacea for every malady.

    And it goes without saying that both these islands would be in a lot better shape if more people were a little less clear about a lot of things.