Giving legal status to 17,000 migrants discussed at talks
Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and the Greens are discussing plans to give up to 17,000 undocumented migrants legal status in Ireland as part of their programme for government talks.
The parties are in talks to establish a regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants in Ireland. Under draft plans, the criteria for a such a scheme would be set out, subject to it being compliant with EU and Common Travel Area obligations, within 18 months of the new government taking office.
While there has been no final agreement, a source involved in the talks said a commitment to setting up a scheme would be a “big win” for migrants’ rights campaigners.
Fianna Fáil and the Greens have previously supported calls for a regularisation scheme for the estimated 15,000-17,000 undocumented people in Ireland, including 2,000-3,000 of these who are children.
Fine Gael has been more sceptical of such a measure, previously arguing it could have “unintended and expensive consequences”.
ts manifesto said it would work to identify “appropriate legal pathways” for the undocumented to regularise their status.
A second source involved in the discussions said the current Covid emergency would be the ideal time to set up a scheme as these migrants cannot leave the country at present. Undocumented migrants are typically those who have arrived on a time-limited visa but who remained in the State after it expired.
The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) says 93pc of undocumented migrants are in work, including as many as 29pc who work as carers.
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