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Thursday 22 August 2019

Living in limbo: Activists want 'path to residency'

Migrant children: Rashmi feels her immigration status is like a cloud hanging over her. Photo: Gareth Chaney
Migrant children: Rashmi feels her immigration status is like a cloud hanging over her. Photo: Gareth Chaney

A young woman who moved to Dublin from Sri Lanka when she was eight years old says she is living in limbo as an undocumented immigrant.

Rashmi (24) said she considers Dublin her home yet despite completing her Leaving Cert and being accepted at two universities here, she cannot progress the same way as her peers because her immigration status prevents her from working or attending third-level education.

"It's a constant burden on you. It's a cloud hanging over you," she said. "I've been here for 16 years.

"We don't want to be undocumented. We want to be contributing members of society," said Rashmi, who hopes to study human rights law.

She is one of up to 3,000 children of illegal immigrants living here, the vast majority of whom were born here.

Officials from the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland and the Children's Rights Alliance held a press conference in Dublin yesterday urging the Government to adopt a 'pathway to residency' for an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 undocumented children of migrants who were born in Ireland or who have lived here for years.

Irish Independent

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