Call to help undocumented migrants in Ireland

The Government must do more to help the thousands of undocumented migrants living in Ireland, says a campaign group.

Friends and supporters of undocumented adults and children pose for photos holding signs, and a giant banner reading 'Happy St Patrick's Day to the undocumented in the USA from the undocumented in Ireland' in Dame St, Dublin.

The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland said the Filipino, Chinese, and Pakistani migrants faced the same struggles as the undocumented Irish in the US.

Helen Lowry of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland said: “The Taoiseach has shown a deep understanding for the plight of the undocumented Irish separated from their families, living in the shadows, unable to travel home even for funerals. It’s time for him to acknowledge the people here in Ireland are in exactly the same situation.”

More than 2,000 people have emailed Enda Kenny calling for him to act.

A huge banner featuring St Patrick’s Day greetings from those living illegally in Ireland to the undocumented Irish in America was unveiled in Dublin as part of the campaign.

Jayson Montenegro has lived and worked in Ireland for 12 years. He said: “We’re wishing the undocumented in America a happy St Patrick’s Day because we know how they feel.

“Undocumented people in Ireland share the struggles and fears of the Irish undocumented in America, and we share their hopes and dreams too. We support their fight for regularisation, and we wish the Taoiseach the very best in his efforts to assist them.

The banner which read “Happy St Patrick’s Day to the undocumented in the USA from the undocumented in Ireland” was draped across a building at Dame St.

The event was organised by the centre’s Justice for the Undocumented campaign group, which wants a regularisation scheme for the undocumented similar to the one proposed in the US.

The centre estimates there are around 30,000 undocumented migrants in Ireland and that most have been in the country for more than a decade.

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