It is reported in Irish News , [Monday 4 March Media Report] that ‘Immigration officers are to be stationed in the offices of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive due to the number of non-EU nationals presenting as homeless.’
We are told that this is because of ‘growing concern over non-EU nationals becoming trapped in emergency accommodation’ and that ‘immigration officials were best placed to determine the rights of those presenting as homeless so that correct supports could be provided to them’.
This is completely disingenuous and a nasty piece of racist dog whistle politics. As the government know full well the idea that ‘they’ (meaning migrants, foreigners, people of colour etc) are taking our homes and that ‘we should look after our own first’ is central to racist discourse in this country.
It is the first thing said by those who want to discriminate on the basis of country of origin or skin colour. This announcement, dishonestly and dangerously, feeds this racist and xenophobic sentiment.
At the same time it is also bound to strike fear into the hearts and minds of migrants. The idea that immigration officials are ‘best placed’ to assist homeless non –EU nationals would be laughable were it not so nasty.
We in United Against Racism who are active members of the National Housing and Homeless Coalition and will be marching for housing for all on Saturday 9 March, strongly protest against this thinly veiled attempt at the age-old racist policy of divide and conquer.
We believe that this state has the resources, if it had the political will, to provide decent housing for all, and we call on all homeless people, all renters and everyone suffering in this crisis to campaign for this in unity.
Join us on Saturday, 9 March and demand homes for all