Senator Rebecca Moynihan
14 March 2017

Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Rebecca Moynihan has criticised the hypocrisy of the Taoiseach’s position on illegal Irish immigrants in America and called on the Government to support a regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants on this side of the Atlantic. This follows the remarks on Monday by the Boston Mayor Martin Walsh that he would not support an immigration deal that benefitted ‘undocumented Irish people only’.

Cllr Moynihan said:

“In America there are over 50,000 undocumented Irish people living, working and contributing to society. Much like America, there are between 20,000 and 26,000 undocumented migrants – including children and families – living and working here in Ireland. The majority have been here for many years. They are deeply rooted within our communities, are making a valuable contribution and have made Ireland their home.

“The hypocritical position adopted by the Irish Government where we seek special treated for undocumented Irish immigrants in the US, but ignore our own problems at home must be challenged this week of all weeks.

“I welcome the views shared by the Mayor of Boston, Martin Walsh at a joint press conference with the Taoiseach that he would not support a special deal for Irish undocumented. The Taoiseach has failed to rule out seeking a special deal for Irish immigrants, nor has he addressed our own undocumented. He is asking the US to do as he says, not as he does.

“While the Taoiseach lobbies for a special scheme for the undocumented Irish in America, the Labour Party supports the calls of the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland for the introduction of a regularisation scheme. Such a scheme would give undocumented people and their families living in Ireland a window of opportunity to come forward and apply for permanent residency status.

“Enda Kenny and his Government have supported similar regularisation proposals in America over the years and are lobbying President Trump and his officials for a similar scheme in the coming days; continued inaction on the same issue here at home adds to the hypocrisy of their representations in America.”

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