Clement Chigaru and Angella Peters, a Malawian couple living in Ireland, continue to battle successfully against attempts by the State to deport them after their claims to asylum were dismissed.
Their most recent success last week was to have the Supreme Court uphold an injunction against their deportation. Their Lordships’ decision was concerned only with the couple’s children who are well settled in Ireland, and not in any way with the bizarre asylum claims made by their parents.
Initially, the couple made up the fairy story that Peters’ uneducated father in Malawi is HIV positive, and to cure his condition he had said that he must have sex with their daughter; she was only one year old at the time (1).
This apparently left the far-better educated couple with no other choice but to flee half way around the World to Ireland. When that story was disbelieved by the authorities, Chigaru then applied for subsidiary protection, saying that the family risked serious harm in Malawi if deported there. However, all claims made to date have now been dismissed by immigration tribunals and the High Court as not being credible.
Chigaru and Peters started a counter attack by dropping off immigration radar. They changed their address so that they could not be located for deportation, and stopped their periodic, routine visits for reporting to the immigration authorities. However, they both continued to work illegally, Peters alone earning €100 per hour as a clinical hypnotherapist, both at Irish Hypnosis and as a freelance (4) (5). Chigaru worked as an actor, stagehand, and writer.
Last year, Chigaru contacted the authorities to try to regularise their status, saying that he would meet them if they would guarantee not to deport the family. The offer was refused, so the family sought an injunction against deportation from the Appeal Court. The Court noted the baseless stories made by the family in their asylum claims, and that both Chigaru and Peters completely lacked credibility and integrity in their dealings with the authorities. However, it granted the injunction, but solely on the grounds that the children know no other life than that in Ireland.
Early this year, the authorities were granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in order to have the injunction overturned, but in a judgement issued late July their Lordships refused to do so (2). On that happy note Chigaru and Peters remain in Ireland.
The State will now have real difficulties deporting the family unless it can demonstrate that the children will not suffer in any way in going to Malawi with their parents. The longer it takes them to do that then the less likely the injunction will be overturned.
The family are being successful in their fight to remain because the Irish have set up an asylum system which allows themselves to be exploited by the devious who can afford to keep pursuing legal challenges. The system allows near-endless appeals to tribunals and to the courts whenever a claim is dismissed. Even when appeals exhausted by the asylum route, claimants such as Chigaru and Peters can turn to something called “subsidiary protection”, which is defined rather vaguely as follows:
“Subsidiary protection is protection to be granted to a person in respect of whom substantial grounds have been shown for believing that the person concerned, if returned to his or her country of origin, would face a real risk of suffering serious harm and who is unable or, owing to such risk, unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country, and who is not excluded from being eligible for subsidiary protection.”
It would seem that Chigaru and Peters are thirsting for a good life in countries such as Ireland through family connections and/or themselves having previously lived outside Malawi. Chigaru has at least two siblings living in the US, while Peters lived in Leeds, UK, for some years, studying at Park Lane College (6)(7). Shortly thereafter, she travelled for a while in the US.