Blinkered views on immigration
Published 10/03/2011 | 05:00
ON arriving back in Ireland after living in Chicago for the last year, I took a taxi home. The driver sympathised with those going abroad for work, describing how his own son was working in Australia and would soon have to leave on expiry of his visa.
Citing his son's visa restrictions, he then said that "we should have turned the tap off on immigrants into Ireland" during the boom, the implication being that they were somehow to blame for our current economic collapse and/or were pushing "real Irish people" to emigrate now.
What he, and it seems many Irish people still have to grasp, is that if other countries harboured similar attitudes towards immigrants, jobless Irish people would now have nowhere to go to escape our failed State. It also struck me that the myopic and self-centred reasoning behind his comments was the same type of reasoning that led to our housing mania and economic collapse.