Gardai patrol North border to grab illegal immigrants
Immigration gardai are planning a number of special operations on the border with the North after around 50 people were detained during two days of checkpoints last month.
Dozens of gardai were involved in manning checkpoints targeting illegal immigration close to the border near Dundalk, Co Louth, on July 20 and July 28.
The operation was set up by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and backed up by local gardai after a large increase in asylum seekers from Pakistan and Bangladesh was noticed coming into the country.
"These operations are being viewed as relatively successful and took place eight days apart. On the first day around 28 people were detained while on the second day around 19 people were detained.
"The people who were picked up by gardai were not arrested. They were detained and brought for processing in relation to their immigration status.
"In some cases people without the correct paperwork were sent back to the UK by ferry or simply turned around at the border with the North," a source said.
It has emerged that because of a clampdown in the UK immigrants there whose visas have almost run out or have expired are entering Ireland in increasing numbers.
"In many cases, they are entering the Republic via the North after travelling to the North from Scotland. There has been a spike of citizens of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origins in recent months," a source said.
It emerged that some of those detained had been authorised to work in the State.
During the two days of last month's operation, gardai diverted traffic on the southbound lanes of the M1 motorway for seven hours on each day, with large checkpoints in place.
Gardai picked up a number of different routes for their checkpoints, including train and bus stations and approximately 15 officers were involved in the operation in the Ravensdale area of Dundalk.
It is estimated that around 700 illegal immigrants each month enter the Republic from the North, with the majority of these people being men.
Sources said more people are entering here from the North than ever before.