Some time ago, while teaching, I campaigned in support of three asylum-seeker families. The children of these families had excellent school attendance, spoke excellent English and their parents had made huge efforts to mix into the local community.
It was tragic that two of the families were deported back to Nigeria. Our Government obviously has policies on entry and remaining in this country, but what exactly are they? Why are some deported and others are not?
At the risk of being labeled some kind of racist, I can't help but contrast the Government treatment of these three asylum-seeker families with that offered to newcomer Romanian families.
They usually arrive here without money, language or skills. Is it permissible to even ask why we constantly have beggar women sitting outside our supermarkets?
Are they from EU States? Why are they here and how did they afford to come if they are now begging? Why are they allowed to beg when most receive housing benefits and child credits?
As a governor of a Belfast secondary school, I know the added unprecedented financial pressures that newcomer children have placed on our school. We are not alone in facing these problems.
If you compare our province to a bus, there are logically only so many people that you can safely allow onboard. Does our responsibility extend to taking in the waifs and strays of the world while ignoring the hard decisions?
T J McCLEAN