Family reunification bill moves closer to becoming law

A bill to allow refugees to bring their grandparents, cousins, nephews, nieces and siblings to Ireland has moved closer to becoming law in spite of Government opposition.

The International Protection (Family Reunification) (Amendment) Bill was approved by senators at the committee stage last night. It was introduced by senators and has therefore not yet been to the Dáil.

The Government opposes the bill, saying that it will reverse some of the “reforms” introduced in the International Protection Act 2015.

Minister of state David Stanton, speaking to the Seanad, said it will “have significant and unquantifiable impacts on the provision of housing, health care, education, welfare payments and other State supports”.

A number of amendments were ruled out of order as they involved a potential charge on the Exchequer, and an amendment stating that the Act must be brought into operation within three months was withdrawn.

The bill will proceed to the report stage in the Seanad next Tuesday.