16th March 2023
Former undocumented people highlight impact of recent scheme and call for ongoing regularisation process this St. Patrick’s Day
For years, on St Patrick’s day, Justice for the Undocumented campaigners have highlighted the hypocrisy of our Ministers seeking regularisation for the Irish undocumented overseas, while doing nothing for undocumented people here in Ireland.
This year is different. Undocumented people have been highlighting all week the positive impact that the regularisation scheme, introduced last year, has had on their lives through a series of videos released by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. Ministers can now proudly showcase this progressive policy and the effect it has had on the lives of thousands of people.
Tjanasi Potso, member of JFU, said: “This scheme allowed me to move to a more stable and secure job. I am now much more comfortable standing up for my rights. Best of all, I managed to visit my family back in Botswana for the first time in over 9 years. It was an incredible moment to be reunited with them”.
Billy Sukhbaatar, JFU member, said: “I am so happy to have received my papers and to finally feel free and safe in my home. I really want to commend the government for the leadership shown to regularisation, and to acknowledge the role Minister McEntee played in bringing in this scheme. It has changed the futures of thousands of people just like me”.
Mel Morano, JFU member, added: “While this scheme was life-changing for the people who qualified, we know that some undocumented people did not meet the criteria. People, including children, will continue to live undocumented in Ireland and this is unjust”.
She concluded: “That is why this St Patrick’s Day, we call on the government to build on the success of this scheme and introduce an ongoing regularisation process. This would ensure that no one ever has to live in the shadows long-term in Ireland like I did for 15 years.”
Neil Bruton 0834260081
Edel McGinley 0877485695
Notes to Editor
- The regularisation scheme was open for a period of 6 months in 2022. It had an immigration and asylum strand. It was open to undocumented people in Ireland 4 years or more, or 3 or more years with children, and to international protection applicants in the system for 2 years or more.
- The scheme received applications in respect of 11,537 people, including children.
- As of February 2023, 7,809 applicants have been granted their status. Applications continue to be processed.
- The Justice for the Undocumented Group is supported by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
- Links to videos: Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter