Irish society today is divided between those who believe we should have an open door policy toward immigrants, and those who would close the door to all Immigration. Ireland needs immigration, not as cheap labour, but as an infusion of new blood and ideas, to add diversity to our culture, and to grow the economy. We must first however distinguish between refugees, economic migrants, and illegal migrants.
Many refugees from oppressive regimes throughout the world who claim political asylum are here as part of international agreement, others make their own way to Ireland. Genuine refugees should be granted temporary residency, allowed to enter the workforce and begin the integration process as soon as possible after arrival, this would ensure the dignity of the refugee and reduce the welfare burden on the state. Those who have a criminal conviction would not be eligible. Refugees from States with which Ireland has diplomatic relations should be required to provide proof of denial of their human rights before accepting their refugee status. When there is frequent and widespread denial of human rights in such countries, then any aid provided by Ireland to those States should be discontinued. When human rights and the democratic process are routinely denied to the people of those states, then we should end our diplomatic presence.
Those seeking to build a new life in Ireland should be welcomed. We should remember that throughout Ireland’s history our people sought political and economic refuge in Nations across the world. We built the infrastructure and economies of many modern Nations. Sometimes we were welcomed sometimes not. We have to make a fresh start in dealing with immigration. With an estimated 10% of the European population living below the poverty line (that’s 50 million people) it is clear that the elimination of poverty in Ireland cannot be achieved without controlling immigration. As we raise Irish People out of poverty, they would simply be replaced by economic refugees from Europe and other parts of the World. Irish workers cannot be expected to solve the problem of all of those affected by poverty in Europe. If we are serious about eliminating poverty in Ireland then we have no choice but to control immigration. A Canadian or Australian style points system of immigration control should be introduced immediately.
Once we have established a proper framework for accepting those seeking refuge and those seeking a better life we must tackle and prevent illegal immigration much of which involves exploitation of the very vulnerable. We must stop Illegal immigration. Legislation imposing Imprisonment and fines of up to 1,000 euro per day, per person employed, accommodated, or trafficked in the State must be introduced. A reward scheme targeted at the victims of this illegal trade, should reward those who come forward and assist in the prosecution of the Trafficker / Employer. A guarantee of “No Deportation”, would enable victims to come forward without fear of Reprisals. When a Landlord or an Employer claims to have been deceived as to the status of an immigrant, they must be required to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they tried to establish the Immigrants Legal Status.