Anger at Mosney over queue-jumping
Refugees housed in direct provision centres feel angry and betrayed after the Government announced that 4,000 refugees of the crisis in Syria and north Africa will be fast-tracked in the asylum process, writes Allison Bray.
The cabinet announced last week that 4,000 refugees among the tide of migrants flooding into Europe from Syria and other hotspots in the Middle East and Africa will be fast-tracked in the asylum process and sent directly to accommodation centres around the country, where they will be entitled to Irish citizenship.
Rana Hussein, (45), a former textile business owner from Pakistan, has been awaiting a decision on his asylum application for seven years, the last three of which has been spent living in the direct provision centre in Mosney, Co Meath.
The married father-of-five said he and other asylum seekers living in direct provision feel they have been bumped to the back of the queue through no fault of their own.
"This is a kind of discrimination that they are getting the same privileges as other Irish people, whereas people are living here, five, seven, eight, nine years," he said outside the gates to the centre yesterday.
"It is very tough here. It's been nearly seven years that I have been seeking asylum and we don't know why it is taking so long. It's the same questions back and forth, same interviews.
"It's very tough here. Things are very unpredictable. The children are growing up in this environment and they are stressed," he said.
Raabia Ellyas (29) is a single mother of four young children who also fled Pakistan and has been housed at Mosney for the past three years after her husband went missing.
She also resents the Syrian refugees being given what looks like preferential treatment while she and her children languish at the centre. "The kids are suffering too much in here. But what is the difference between us and the Syrians? We are the same," she said.
"It's very sad. What is the difference between asylum seekers? We are asylum seekers, they are asylum seekers. We are sitting here a long time - some people nine, 10 years - it's not easy without being able to live normally," she told the Sunday Independent.
"It's a very hard life and it's very stressful when we see people coming [from Syria] who are getting papers right away."