Sir, – The only surprising element about the increase in the number of people arriving into the country seeking international protection from listed safe countries is indeed the level of surprise being displayed by those in Government.
Last year, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee invited any undocumented person who had lived in the State for more than four years, or for in excess of three years in the case of those with children, to apply for an amnesty apropos their status in line with the Regularisation of Long-Term Undocumented Migrants Scheme.
Meanwhile, a Chilean acquaintance who’d lived in the country for the relevant number of years and had aspired to remain, discovered he had made himself ineligible for the scheme by virtue of the considerable efforts he had made to ensure his presence in the State had been legal at all times. He has since left the country.
The failure to create more routes to legal immigration at a time when the country is seemingly affected by acute staff shortages across the spectrum must surely be seen as a slow descent into the realm of absurdist theatre. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – How quickly we forget! Over the years hundreds of thousands of “economic migrants” left Ireland in search of a better life elsewhere. These young women and men hoped for two things – to have a better quality of life themselves and the capacity to send some financial help to their families in Ireland.
Fifty years ago we could never have imagined the level of prosperity we are now enjoying in Ireland. I fully acknowledge that levels of prosperity are not equal throughout our society. However, relative to many other places around the world, we are indeed fortunate.
Can we not now extend a helping hand of welcome to those who come to Ireland in search of a better quality of life for themselves and who also want to help and support their families at home?
They are asking of us the same as so many Irish women and men asked of so many countries where they settled over the years. – Yours, etc,