Press Centre

Equal Treatment for Undocumented in Ireland and the US

JFU at the Cliffs of Moher

Members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade are in Washington today and tomorrow to lobby the US Congress on behalf of the undocumented Irish in America.  The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) has called for equal consideration to be given to the estimated 30,000 undocumented migrants living in Ireland.

MRCI Deputy Director Edel McGinley stated, “It is only right that TDs and Senators should do their best to assist the undocumented Irish in the US, but undocumented migrants here in Ireland – workers, families and children – have exactly the same needs. For years, undocumented Irish migrants in the US have lived in fear and uncertainty, with no way to come forward and contribute fully and openly to American society; there are thousands of people in Ireland in the very same situation.

Successive Irish governments have been content to ignore undocumented people living in Ireland, while taking frequent trips to the US to lobby for undocumented people there; we’re asking this government to act now.”

MRCI supports the introduction of an earned regularisation scheme, similar to that proposed in the US. This would require undocumented migrants to come forward and earn their way to legal residency over a five-year period through working, paying taxes and community integration.

“This is not an amnesty; earned regularisation is a pragmatic, reasonable solution,” continued Ms McGinley. “Actions speak louder than words: the introduction of such a scheme here would set an example for the US to follow, and would strengthen the Government’s advocacy for the undocumented Irish.”

22 October 2013


Brief description of Earned Regularisation scheme proposed by MRCI:

For more on the MRCI’s Justice for the Undocumented campaign, please see