Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Refugee Resettlement Programme
It is important the Senator continues to raise the issue. Having participated in one aspect of the initiatives through the Department of Justice and Equality - my Department was involved with the matter of unaccompanied minors - I saw at first hand the complexity of the issues involved to do what we want, particularly in terms of working closely with another country. Italy is a case in point as it will not allow us to bring law enforcement people into the country to provide checks there. It is part of the mechanism for relocation. I am heartened to know, and I will work with them in this regard, that should we not be able to accept those numbers, it is the intent of the Department of Justice and Equality to find other mechanisms. With the Calais issue, for example, it was our intention to accept up to 200 unaccompanied minors, but it was very difficult to find the 20 that have come in. As they become available, effectively we have accepted them. It seems to be the case with the other programmes that as people are made available to us through mechanisms, we accept them.