Migrants with Irish-born children risk poverty

Migrants with Irish-born children are at serious risk of poverty and must often maintain low-paid jobs while they struggle to access childcare, a report has found.

Migrants with Irish-born children are at serious risk of poverty and must often maintain low-paid jobs while they struggle to access childcare, a report has found.

The study, carried out by the New Communities Partnership, looks at the impact of the Irish Born Child scheme. It finds that rules which allow parents to stay here as they have Irish-born children cause hardship to families.

The denial of family reunification rights remains the most significant hardship for mothers often left to raise children alone.

Legislation in 2004 restricted Irish citizenship to children with at least one parent who was either an Irish citizen or entitled to Irish citizenship.

The following year, the Irish Born Child scheme was brought in, in response to concerns about the potential violation of rights of Irish-born children born here.

Almost 17,000 people were granted residency under this scheme. The study interviewed almost 150 families involved.

It states: “Childcare presents a particular problem. Parents who are working in the waged labour force are often desperately keen to keep their jobs but are faced with the reality of not earning enough to pay for their children’s childcare arrangements.

“Many simply retreat from the waged labour force in favour of a pattern of social welfare reliance but some are forced to utilise less than satisfactory childcare arrangements in order to stay economically viable.”

The report calls for a review of the scheme to help smooth integration of legally resident people.

The head of the New Communities Partnership, Issah Huseini, said the scheme, which has been in place for seven years, was brought in as a “sticking plaster measure”.


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