PRESS RELEASE: 15 April 2012
The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), welcomes the Labour Party motion to support the regularisation of undocumented migrants in Ireland. “This is a very significant step in realising the human rights and dignity of undocumented men, women and children living in Ireland. The passing of this motion recognises that undocumented people are rooted within our communities and demonstrates a commitment to protecting the most vulnerable” said Edel McGinley of the MRCI.
Jayson Montenegro spokesperson for the Justice for the Undocumented Campaign, an undocumented migrant living in Ireland for over 8 years said, “I want to recognise the significance of this motion to the lives of the estimated 30,000 undocumented people including families and children living in Ireland. Like me, the majority of our members have made Ireland their home, we work here, we live here, our children have been born here”. Mr. Montenegro went onto say “Many of our members have become undocumented for a variety of reasons, often through no fault of their own. Our undocumented status however means that we are much more vulnerable to mistreatment and many people are forced to stay in exploitative situations. This motion takes a stand against the exploitation of undocumented workers”.
Justice for the Undocumented campaign member Ms. Elisia Fuentes from the Philippines, who came to Ireland in 2007, said “in addition to this motion, local Labour Party councilors have shown leadership in recognising our contribution to Ireland by backing us in Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council. She went onto say, “This support gives me hope, it recognizes me as a person and acknowledges my labour and financial contribution to Ireland”.
Ms McGinley concluded “Failure to regularise the men, women and children who have made Ireland their home will drive people further underground. It is time to act. This motion clearly gives a mandate to the Labour Party to introduce a regularisation scheme which considers both the rights and responsibilities of the undocumented and the state”.