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Opening Address by Minister of State James Browne TD

Webinar on the Regularisation Scheme for Undocumented Migrants


Monday 26th April



Good morning everyone.


And welcome to this information session on the proposed Regularisation Scheme for Undocumented Migrants.


It’s great to see so many of you here today, and from such a wide variety of organisations and sectors.


Minister McEntee has asked me to pass on her apologies that she unfortunately cannot join us today. While the Minister is on her well-deserved maternity leave, I’ll be taking over Immigration responsibilities in addition to my Law Reform remit.


Our Programme for Government and Justice Plan 2021, set out a clear commitment to deliver this Scheme and to have it up and running by the end of this year.


Minister McEntee presented the draft outline of the Scheme to Government last week and you have also had an opportunity to view it in the document circulated in advance of this meeting.


Today is a perfect opportunity for me to hear directly from you ---


What do you consider to be the most important criteria that should be included in the proposed Scheme so that it reaches out to those who for whatever reason find themselves undocumented in the State? 


We know that people find themselves undocumented for many reasons. Perhaps not qualifying for the permission they applied for; a permission expiring and not having a home or job to return to; wanting to make a better life for themselves and their families; and other such reasons. This Scheme will provide an opportunity for those who meet its criteria to remain and reside in the State and to become part of mainstream Irish society rather than living on its margins.


Ireland as a nation has for many generations watched as family members’ neighbours and friends have travelled overseas in search of opportunity. Many have had great successes, like the Kennedy’s who went from Wexford to the White House. However, many have not been so fortunate. If Schemes like the one we are discussing here today had been available, it may have made their lives, when they fell on hard times with little or no supports, easier to bear.


Therefore, Minister McEntee and I believe it is important that the Scheme when finalised can reach all those considered eligible. So that they can make an application to regularise their position and avail of the opportunities that Ireland has to offer. We will need your support to achieve this and to encourage people to come forward and engage with us at the appropriate time.


The Migration Policy and Immigration Service teams are working hard to have the Scheme open for applications by the end of this year.