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Marking International Migrants Day

On International Migrants Day (today), the Government has been asked to give undocumented migrants the chance to regularise their status.

The appeal has come from Barnardos and Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), as a group of undocumented parents and children meet outside the Dáil to mark International Migrants Day 2014 and to call on the Irish government to give hope to the undocumented migrants, including thousands of children, who have made Ireland home.

Mostofa, who lives undocumented in Ireland with his 4-year-old son, said, “I work here, I contribute, but because I am undocumented I am afraid all the time. This is the only home my son has ever known. How can I tell him he has no future here? Thanks to President Obama, the undocumented Irish in America have hope this Christmas. I hope the Taoiseach will soon give hope to the undocumented in Ireland.”

New research estimates there are up to 5,100 undocumented children in Ireland. These children face very uncertain futures. They are more at risk of social exclusion and child poverty due to their parents’ undocumented status, with no access to social protection and universal payments such as child benefit. They face further uncertainty as they grow older: unlikely to progress to third level, unable to access the labour market, and trapped in a legal limbo.

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