Belfast Telegraph

Kenny urged to help undocumented

The Government must do more to help the thousands of undocumented migrants living in Ireland, a campaign group has claimed.

The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) said the Filipino, Chinese and Pakistani migrants faced the same struggles as the undocumented Irish in the United States.

Helen Lowry of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) said: "The Taoiseach has shown a deep understanding for the plight of the undocumented Irish - separated from their families, living in the shadows, unable to travel home even for funerals.

"It's time for him to acknowledge the people here in Ireland are in exactly the same situation."

More than 2,000 people have emailed Enda Kenny calling for him to act.

A huge banner featuring St Patrick's Day greetings from those living illegally in Ireland to the undocumented Irish in America was unveiled in Dublin city centre as part of the campaign.

Jayson Montenegro is undocumented and has lived and worked in Ireland for 12 years.

He said: "We're wishing the undocumented in America a happy St Patrick's Day because we know how they feel.

"Undocumented people in Ireland share the struggles and fears of the Irish undocumented in America, and we share their hopes and dreams too. We support their fight for regularisation, and we wish the Taoiseach the very best in his efforts to assist them.

"Undocumented workers and families in Ireland just want the chance to get regularised too."

The banner which reads "Happy St Patrick's Day to the undocumented in the USA from the undocumented in Ireland" was draped across a building at Dame Street.

The event was organised by the MRCI's Justice for the Undocumented campaign group, which wants a regularisation scheme for the undocumented similar to the one proposed in the US.

The MRCI estimates there are around 30,000 undocumented migrants currently in Ireland and that most have been in the country for over a decade.

Ms Lowry added: "Regularising undocumented migrants in Ireland would bring them out from the shadows and into the system. It's good for society, it's good for the economy, and it would strengthen the Government's advocacy in the US. It's the right thing to do, and it's the smart thing to do."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph