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Media Release

Friday 3rd Dec

Justice for Undocumented wins major victory after 11 year campaign

Today (Friday 3rd Dec), Minister for Justice Helen McEntee officially announced a historic and life-changing scheme to regularise undocumented people in Ireland. This scheme, approved by cabinet (Tuesday 30th Nov), will open in the new year for six months.

Justice for Undocumented Group (JFU) and Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) have campaigned for over 11 years to regularise undocumented people, families and children.

Tjanasi Potso, Chairperson of JFU said, “I firstly want to commend the resilience, determination and daily courage of undocumented people who have fought so long and hard for this scheme, it will transform our lives. Make no mistake this was achieved because a small group of people took a big step to come forward and campaign for rights and recognition.”

She continued, “This scheme will allow us to live securely in our homes, no longer in fear that the next knock at the door will be someone to take us away. We can stand up for our rights at work, our children can grow up safely, and we can visit our families for the first time in many years. We are grateful to all the supporters and allies who have campaigned with us.”

The scheme allows people who have been living undocumented in Ireland for 4 years or more or 3 years or more with children here, to apply and regularise their immigration status. It also includes a separate track for International Protection applicants who are in the process for a minimum of 2 years.

Neil Bruton, Campaign Lead at MRCI, said, “We welcome the announcement today and commend the Government for following through on the commitments made in the Programme for Government last June. This is a huge step in realising the rights of undocumented people.”

He concluded, “We must ensure that all undocumented people know about the scheme and are supported to apply. Today does not solve everything. Some undocumented people are not included in the scheme. We look forward to working with the Minister for Justice to build on this progressive approach to immigration reform in the future.”