There has been a mixed reaction to further amendments to the Immigration Bill which was due to go through the Dáil today.

The new law was made necessary by a High Court decision which struck down the existing Ministerial Orders controlling immigration, because they were not brought in through primary legislation.

Minister Michael McDowell's first draft allowed immigration officers to refuse entry to people suffering from a disability, but this was amended in the Seanad to a definition of mental disorder contained in the Mental Health Act.

However, Independent Senator Joe O'Toole claimed that this could include people with Down's Syndrome or Autism.

Now the Government is proposing a definition of mental disorder as those suffering from 'profound mental disturbance' showing signs of psychotic disturbance with agitation, delirium, hallucinations or confusion.

However, the director of Schizophrenia Ireland rejected the changes. John Saunders said the amendments still empowered immigration officers to make a judgement on a person's mental state. He said the entire clause should be withdrawn.

Hilkka Becker, of the Immigrants Council of Ireland, welcomed the changes but said her organisation was still concerned by the absence of an appeal mechanism.