According to a report in the Irish Examiner today,
''About 400 young women are being trafficked into Ireland to take part in sham marriages while the Government has so far failed to close a loophole that allows the criminals organising them to go free.''
''Figures released last year by the Department of Justice said that up to the end of Sept 2011, there were 553 applications for residency from non-EU nationals as a spouse of an EU citizen, a third involved Latvian or Lithuanian spouses.''
''Two years ago the Latvian authorities asked Ireland to take action to stop these marriages, mostly conducted with Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Indian men. Being married to an EU national means the husband can apply for a passport of an EU country.''
However, Minister Shatter appears to be taking a laidback approach to this. According to the Examiner's report, the Department of Justice did comment directly on this but a statement issued by it ''said that minister Alan Shatter said he was working closely with his counterpart in Britain on the issue and had asked officials to re-examine to draft amendments on immigration related sham marriages in the Immigration Residence and Protection Bill 2010 and the Free Movement regulations that transposed the EU directive into Irish law.''
Full report here: 400 a year trafficked for sham marriages | Irish Examiner
Meanwhile, the trafficking goes on and yet more bogus applications for residency and citizenship are submitted.
One must seriously question whether Minister Shatter regards immigration matters even those involving the serious abuse of vulnerable women and blatant criminality involved as warranting urgent attention?
This raises an allied and perhaps a more core issue about the Minister for Justice and Equality and Defence's appreciation of and vision for Ireland. Does the eminent Minister, who makes great fanfare out of handing out Irish citizenship to those who ''qualify'' on a publicly trumpeted 'fast-tracked' basis, really believe in Ireland as a nation State or does he just consider our country as an optionally permanent halting site, with citizenship thrown in for those who stay around long enough, for global humanity and irrespective of the criminality involved?