Today (Monday 4th April) the first undocumented people received their immigration status as part of the scheme to regularise undocumented people in Ireland. The scheme, which opened on January 31st, remains open for applications until July 31st. The positive results were officially announced today by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.
The Justice for the Undocumented Group (JFU) and Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) have campaigned for over 11 years to regularise undocumented people, families and children.
Albert Bello, Chair of JFU said, “It is incredible to see the first undocumented people receiving the life-changing news of a positive result from their scheme application. We hope the announcement today will build confidence in the scheme and reassure those who are still fearful that they can apply safely to get their status here in Ireland.”
He continued, “On a personal note I am overjoyed as I am one of those who received the positive news today. This stable status we receive will allow us to finally live safely, stand up for our basic rights and live normal lives in our home here in Ireland.”
Irene Jagoba, JFU organiser, added “I can’t quite believe it is true, we have been fighting for so long for this. I am going to be able to see my children for the first time in 14 years. You cannot imagine what that feels like.”
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 have been in the system for a minimum of 2 years.
Neil Bruton, Campaign Lead at MRCI, said, “We are delighted today to see undocumented people receiving their papers and finally seeing the fruit of over a decade’s hard work. This achievement is the direct result of their collective action and bravery.”
He concluded, “We encourage anyone who is undocumented and eligible for this scheme to apply before the scheme closes at the end of July. If they need any help to apply for the scheme, they can visit www.mrci.ie for information and support.”
*Undocumented people available for comment to media through the contacts below
**Photos of the scheme launch available on request
Caroline França – 083 888 9185
Neil Bruton – 083 4260081
Edel McGinley – 087 7485695