Ireland launches amnesty scheme for undocumented migrants

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By Euronews
People walk along an empty Grafton Street in Dublin
People walk along an empty Grafton Street in Dublin   -  Copyright  PAUL FAITH/AFP

Ireland's justice minister Helen McEntee has launched a new scheme that could allow undocumented migrants residing in the country to gain full legal status.

The amnesty scheme will be available to adults who have lived in Ireland for four years or children who have been residing there for three years. This timeframe is reduced to two years for asylum seekers.

There are currently 17,000 undocumented people in Ireland, many of whom have difficulties accessing citizens services or joining the workforce.

The programme -- described as a “once-in-a-generation scheme” will run until the end of July.

“I firmly believe this scheme will improve the lives of thousands of people across the country who contribute to our society, enrich our culture and work in our economy but unfortunately still live in the legal shadows,” McEntee said.

“People come to Ireland to make a better life for themselves and their families, and they can find themselves undocumented for many reasons”, she added.

“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."

Click on the player above to watch Ken Murray's report from Dublin.