A new landmark Government scheme to regularise the status of long-term undocumented migrants and their families will give them certainty and hope for their future in Ireland, according to Fine Gael Intercultural (FGI).
FGI, a members grouping within the Fine Gael party, has welcomed Government approval for the scheme for long-term undocumented migrants and their dependents, which was announced today by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, TD.
The announcement delivers on a Programme for Government commitment to create new pathways for long-term undocumented people and their dependents, meeting specified criteria to regularise their status, within 18 months of Government formation. It also delivers on a commitment contained in Fine Gael’s General Election 2020 manifesto.
Councillor Yemi Adenuga, who first came to Ireland in 2000 and now lives in Navan, Co Meath with her family, said the scheme represents a momentous development as it will give legal recognition and equality of opportunity to people currently living in the shadows but who are making a valuable contribution to their communities.
Councillor Adenuga, Chair of Fine Gael Intercultural, said, “This scheme is wonderful news and it truly represents a milestone for undocumented persons who have been living in Ireland for four years plus and who meet the eligibility criteria set out.
“The scheme, which is a key part of Minister McEntee’s Justice Plan 2021, will allow eligible applicants to live in the State and allow them access to the labour market and begin their path to citizenship.
“As chair of Fine Gael Intercultural, I welcome this scheme, which will be open for six months from January, and I am delighted that people with expired student permissions can also apply.
“This is something Fine Gael Intercultural had been pushing for and made in a Programme for Government submission in 2020 to introduce pathways for children, young people and workers, who are undocumented, to regularise their status.
“Fine Gael has worked hard to promote the voices and perspectives of our migrant communities and to strengthen inclusion and diversity at local and national level.
“I would like to thank my colleague, Minister McEntee, and her team for introducing such a comprehensive scheme, which had input from organisations working with the undocumented and migrant communities.
“Undocumented people face so many challenges and can find it difficult to access services and supports they may need at a time when they are vulnerable and in most need of help.
“I would encourage people to apply as soon as the scheme is open, it is truly a great way for them to enter the Christmas period and New Year with a newfound sense of hope and belonging,” Councillor Adenuga concluded.