Chambers Ireland welcomes scheme to regularise the undocumented

Chambers Ireland welcomes scheme to regularise the undocumented but urges the creation of a formal process for greater inclusion

Chambers Ireland, the voice of business throughout Ireland, has today welcomed the announcement of a new scheme to regularise long-term undocumented migrants in Ireland but urges the creation of a formal process to fully regularise all undocumented persons from now on.

Speaking today, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot, said: “After a long period of campaigning for the inclusion of undocumented workers and their children to be regularised, this morning’s announcement marks a very positive step towards the regularisation of thousands of migrants who add immense value to our economy, local communities, and society as a whole.

“We have previously highlighted to Government that Ireland needs workers across a variety of sectors, and this continues to be the case as we deal with immense staff shortages across the economy. Here we have a cohort of workers who have continued to work all through the pandemic without proper legal recognition. We are pleased that a proportion of this group will enjoy access to this recognition early next year.

“However, there urgently needs to be a formal process put in place to process the full regularization of all undocumented people, not just those who meet the narrow requirements of this ‘once-in-a-generation’ scheme. What happens to those who fall just outside of these parameters to apply? It makes little sense to exclude some undocumented people from this scheme and leave them to continue working in the shadows.

“We urge the Minister for Justice and wider Government to consider the creation of a status-quo, as opposed to a ‘once-off’, regularisation scheme that will see those who add so vibrantly to our society legally recognised. We recommend that this type of formal scheme includes a shorter residence requirement to be part of the scheme; that people who reach the residence requirement during the lifetime of the scheme be included; and that the undocumented residence requirement should not have to be continuous and unbroken.

“Providing an accessible mechanism for these workers and their families to apply to regularise their situation is crucial. Undocumented workers play an important role in local economies throughout the country, responding to skills shortages, providing essential services, and playing critical roles in their communities, workplaces, and wider local economies.”