Migrants petition for regularisation
Members of the Justice for the Undocumented campaign today handed in a petition signed by 4,000 members of the public to Tom Cooney, special adviser to Minister of Justice Alan Shatter.
The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland campaign aims to allow undocumented migrants living in Ireland to enter an earned regularisation scheme which would require undocumented people to work over a period of time, pay taxes and meet other criteria before being allowed residency.
Community work co-ordinator with the MRCI, Helen Lowry said the Government should consider the regularisation scheme in the context of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill which is due to come before the houses of the Oireachtas in the autumn.
“This scheme would allow people to come out of the shadows. It’s not an amnesty, it’s an earned regularisation scheme,” she said.
“We feel that the minister’s special advisor accepting the petition today is a sign that they understand that a solution needs to be found,” she added.
“Today really is about a show of solidarity between those who are undocumented and those who are documented in terms of looking for a solution,” she said, adding that Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council had passed motions supporting the regularisation scheme.
One of those who handed in the petition today was Maritas Alforte from the Philippines who has been living in Ireland for six years is an undocumented worker.
“Being undocumented here is difficult because I can’t go home to visit my kids, my family. It’s like I’m in the shadow because it’s hard to express yourself and go out because you always have fears in your head and your heart. I think undocumented Irish people in America are in the same situation – they have the same feelings.”
“I’m just looking for a good future for my children because if I went back home I could not support them. I came from a poor family so I don’t want that for my kids so I know my situation is not good here but I would sacrifice anything for them.”