Ryanair CEO Calls Asylum System A ‘Scam,’ Criticizes Influx Of Undocumented Migrants

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, has sharply criticized the asylum system, calling it a “complete scam” and arguing that many claiming refugee status are not genuine. O’Leary shared his views during an interview on Newstalk radio, focusing on how undocumented individuals manage to enter Ireland.

O’Leary explained that asylum seekers often destroy their identification upon arrival in Ireland. “They flush them down the toilet, they arrive at Dublin airport and they flush them down the toilet,” he said. He pointed out that while non-EU visitors must have their passports photographed at the border, this process is evaded by those intending to deceive the system.

“These are not refugees,” O’Leary asserted, criticizing the misclassification of individuals arriving from safe countries like the UK or France as refugees. He argued that people fleeing genuine persecution do not come from these countries. “Nobody got to Ireland from Afghanistan or from Kenya or from Nigeria or from Syria on a direct flight because there aren’t any,” he added.

O’Leary expressed support for aiding genuine refugees, particularly Ukrainians, but condemned the practice of granting asylum to those coming from safe EU countries. “We should be turning them back saying, here back to the EU countries where you came from,” he insisted.

The CEO also highlighted the challenges in monitoring these migrants. “They tear up or flush their documentation down the toilets, and all of them have documentation when they board the Ryanair flight at the other side,” O’Leary noted, emphasizing the difficulty in tracking their movements and verifying their claims.

Ireland has seen a surge in economic migrants, many now living in tent cities in major urban areas like Dublin. This issue is not isolated to Ireland; data from Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees shows that 57% of asylum seekers in Germany lack proper documentation, up from 48% in 2023.

O’Leary’s remarks have ignited discussions on the asylum system’s flaws and the need for reforms to ensure that only genuine refugees receive protection. His outspoken stance underscores a growing concern in Europe about the management of migration and the integrity of asylum processes.