The Adeniran family who have lived in Ireland for many years are facing deportation to Nigeria after their High Court bid for asylum failed. A group of Balbriggan school students who attend the Community College with the eldest son, Bola, have come together to fight the deportation and have formed the Friends of the Adeniran Family campaign.
The Adeniran family’s bid for asylum was refused and the father of the family was deported to Nigeria. The remaining family members fled their home to avoid deportation and have since been in hiding.
Bola is a star student in Balbriggan Community College and has been diligently preparing for the Leaving Cert exams that he should be sitting next June. He is hugely liked by his school friends, prompting them to come together to show their support for Bola and his family and oppose the deportation.
After discovering the fate of their friend in a newspaper article, young people in Balbriggan united to support the Adeniran family. Last Wednesday evening, a meeting of around 40 people took place in Balbriggan to form the “Friends of the Adeniran Family” campaign. They are calling on the government to allow Bola to stay here long enough to complete his leaving certificate but also to reverse the deportation order for the whole family to reunite and live safely in Ireland.
An initial protest of solidarity and support last Friday was attended by Bola’s friends, teachers, other students and their parents as well as other members of the community. In total over 100 people came to the protest.
Ninety six percent of asylum seekers are refused asylum in Ireland. The system is clearly not geared towards protecting those fleeing from repression, death threats, war and extreme poverty. The government and the state often use asylum seekers as scapegoats, attempting to shift the blame for the crises in education and health. In fact these crises are due to gross underfunding and mismanagement by consecutive Fianna Fail and Fine Gael led governments. Asylum seekers in the mean time are forced to live on a pittance and aren’t even allowed to work while waiting often for many years for their cases to be decided.
The government’s approach towards asylum seekers was illustrated recently in relation to the forced transfer of asylum seekers from Mosney, where the Adeniran family lived. Asylum seekers objected to being moved yet again, reflecting the traumatic sense of fear and uncertainty that typifies the lives of asylum seekers who wait for years before finding out their fate. In Mosney, vulnerable people had built up friendships and connections, only to be moved on again by a state that has no regard for them whatsoever.
The scapegoating of asylum seekers and immigrants is a disgraceful tactic used by the ruling elite, the government, the right-wing media etc., to deflect anger of people away from bank bailouts, savage cuts and mass unemployment. This attempt to sow division within the working class must be resisted. Only united struggle against the bailouts and cutbacks has the strength to defeat the government. The Socialist Party and Socialist Youth oppose deportations. For us, the fight against deportations and racism is linked to the struggle against this system which is based on the drive for profit of the tiny few, not human needs of the vast majority. Only a united movement of workers, young people, the unemployed, immigrants and asylum seekers can win this struggle.
The actions of Bola’s friends and their determination to help him and his family must be commended. The campaign needs to be stepped up to put local TDs as well as Justice Minister Dermot Ahern under pressure to reverse the deportation order.
A second protest has been called by the Friends of the Adeniran family campaign for Thursday 29 July at 1pm at the Department of Justice, 94 St. Stephen’s Green.