Press Centre

Humane Response Needed for Undocumented Workers Essential to the EU

PRESS RELEASE: 7 July 2008

MRCI Calls on Minister Dermot Ahern to advocate for fair, practical solutions including regularisation.

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) has called on Minister Dermot Ahern to bring his experience to current EU discussions on undocumented migrant workers, and to advocate for humane and practical solutions, including regularisation.

Regardless of temporary economic downturns, discussions at EU level have acknowledged that inward migration will continue to be essential for the future survival of Europe. Moreover, official communications from the European Commission have highlighted that EU states will need not just high-skilled workers but also workers in lower-paid, essential sectors such as care work and services.(1)

According to Siobhán O’Donoghue, Director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, “Undocumented migrant workers are part of our workplaces and members of our communities. They have contributed massively to Ireland’s growth, just as the Irish undocumented did in the United States. Undocumented migrants that we encounter are doing essential work in our restaurants, cleaning offices, in our nursing homes, minding our children and caring for older people. They are an essential part of our workforce and are not disposable objects.”

Ms O’Donoghue went on to say, “Minister Ahern has campaigned on behalf of the regularisation of Irish migrants to the U.S and understands the complexities of this phenomenon better than most.  We hope that he will bring this experience to the current discussions at EU level.”




(1)   Extract from Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the Communication from the European Commission on: A Common Immigration Policy for Euorope: Principles, Actions and tools – IMPACT ASSESSMEN; COM (2008) 359 & SEC (2008) 2027 (p11):

“The need for more both high-skilled immigration and low-skilled labour is on the rise and third 0country migrants, already overrepresented at the highest skill levels and at the lowest skill levels, are expected to play an increasingly important role in meeting demands for labour at the low and high-skill ends of the labour market.”