Policy Briefing Papers

Overcoming Barriers to Equality for the Children of Non-EU Migrants

SUMMARY

The Irish immigration system has yet to establish fair, consistent and clear procedures to deal with thousands of children of non-EU migrants born outside of Ireland who have since settled with their families here. The ad hoc nature of the current system presents significant barriers to these children even if they have lived in Ireland for many years and their parents have become Irish citizens or permanent Irish residents. Many children of non-EU migrants are denied reduced fees and financial assistance in attending third level education. Most are barred from entering the labour market without an employment permit. Many are being forced to leave Ireland when they reach 18 or face becoming undocumented. This situation is having a detrimental impact on the lives and well-being of migrant children and on families and communities. The inequality of the system undermines Ireland’s commitment to integration and the rights of children and families. Urgent government action is required to remove these unnecessary barriers and to provide a system that is fair and just.

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