Politicians travelling to US urged to remember undocumented at home
Published 14/03/2016 | 02:30
A campaign group for undocumented migrants in Ireland has called on politicians to remember their plight as ministers travel to the US to raise the cause of the undocumented Irish there.
A group of 1,400 workers called for immigration reform at home - as the political elite prepares to champion the cause of the undocumented Irish in the US this St Patrick's Day.
Filipino and Chinese people are among the most likely to become 'irregular' in Ireland. Up to 20,000 are estimated to live here.
Justice for the Undocumented said that as political leaders travel to Washington, immigration reform was also needed in Ireland.
"We're here to remind them that there are undocumented migrants in Ireland too," the group said. "We're here in solidarity with undocumented migrants everywhere, especially the undocumented Irish in the US this St Patrick's Day."
The group held a street party in Dublin yesterday to highlight its cause.
"We are calling on our political leaders to act with integrity and think of their home country and the situation here as they travel abroad for St Patrick's Day; to remember us as they ask US leaders to think of the Irish undocumented there.
"We too work hard in our adopted country. We too are unable to travel home for funerals and weddings. We too are asking for a chance to come forward and stop living in fear."
Most of the migrants have been in Ireland for more than five years and have found work. Around 86pc entered the country legally and subsequently became undocumented.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said she had no plans to implement generalised regularisation.
She said that significant departure from the current case-by-case approach adopted by EU states could have implications for the common travel area with the United Kingdom.