Cllr Dermot Looney, a Labour Party Councillor on South Dublin County Council, has called for the government to act with haste in implementing an Earned Regularisation Scheme for undocumented migrants in Ireland. Cllr Looney was commenting after the unanimous passing of his motion at South Dublin County Council (SDCC) in support of such a scheme. The motion was similar to one passed on Dublin City Council, proposed by Cllr Rebecca Moynihan, in December.
“I am delighted that Councillors from all parties supported my motion in support of undocumented migrants on both sides of the Atlantic; both the undocumented Irish living in the USA, and those migrants who have come to Ireland,” stated Cllr Looney. “We are rightly concerned with our friends and family members who are living and working, undocumented, in the USA. But now the government must also turn its attention to the thousands of people living in a comparable situation in Ireland.”
“The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland, with whom I have worked on this campaign, estimate that some 30,000 undocumented migrants are living here. Many have lived and worked here for several years, paying taxes and contributing in many positive ways to our communities. They are often engaged in employment in catering and cleaning, and given their irregular status they are frequently subject to exploitation by ruthless employers.”
“An Earned Regularisation Scheme would provide a humanitarian response to the issue of undocumented migrants, regularising their status, generating more in tax revenue and protecting against exploitative employers who are undermining the working conditions of all workers. Now that two of the largest local authorities in the country have unanimously supported this scheme, I am calling on the Minister for Justice and Equality to act immediately to prepare and implement such a scheme.”
Edel McGinley, Irregular Migration Project Leader at the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland said, “we very much welcome this development and the leadership shown on this issue by South Dublin County Council. A motion such as this recognises the contribution that undocumented migrants make to Irish society and highlights the urgent need for a solution to be put in place”.
For more on this please see http://www.mrci.ie
TEXT OF MOTION
SDCC MEETING JANUARY 16th 2012 - MOTION NO. 5
MOTION: Councillor D. Looney
That this Council supports the Undocumented Irish campaign in the USA to introduce an earned regularisation scheme. This Council also notes with concern the high numbers of undocumented families and children living in Ireland without rights and under tremendous stress and fear. This Council supports the introduction of an earned regularisation scheme in Ireland, based on criteria set down by the Department of Justice and Equality, so that undocumented migrants living in Ireland can participate fully in the social, political and economic affairs of the country. This Council will forward a copy of this motion to the Minister for Justice and Equality.