Failure to regularise undocumented ‘costing State €41m per year’

There are an estimated 20,000-26,000 undocumented migrants living in Ireland

There are between 2,000-6,000 children and young people growing up undocumented in Ireland today, according to Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson

There are between 2,000-6,000 children and young people growing up undocumented in Ireland today, according to Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The failure to regularise undocumented migrants living in Ireland is costing the State €41 million per year in lost direct tax, according to research from Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI).

The study, carried out with more than 1,000 undocumented migrants, reveals that 84 per cent have lived in Ireland for over five years, and 21 per cent have lived here for 10 years.

There are an estimated 20,000-26,000 undocumented migrants living in Ireland, according to the centre. Of these nearly two-thirds are aged between 25-39. There are 2,000-6,000 children and young people growing up undocumented in Ireland.

Regularisation would give undocumented people the chance to legalise their immigration status and work legally in Ireland.

The head of St Patrick’s mental health services, Paul Gilligan, warns that undocumented youths were unable to be open with their closest friends, were barred from progressing to work or college, and struggled to see a future for themselves in the only home they have ever known.

MRCI spokeswoman Helen Lowry called on the next government to prioritise regularisation in the work of the new Dáil.