Amnesty for unknown number of people starts soon

From Monday January 31, “thousands of undocumented migrants” will be able to “regularise” their situation under the much trumpeted scheme announced by Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee.

As those of you who have been following this saga on Gript will be aware, “undocumented” is another term to describe people who have come here illegally or who have applied for asylum and not been accepted.

They are not people who have come here legitimately to work, as thousands of people from outside of the EU and EEA area have, nor are they persons who have been recognised to be genuinely in danger if they are told to leave as indeed many of them have been but chose instead to remain here.

The proposed amnesty therefore is no different than if McEntee had announced an amnesty for any other category of people who have broken the law. People who haven’t paid their TV license perhaps at the lower end of social danger. Drug dealers and maybe even sex offenders at the other?

There is also the issue of how many people we are talking about. Despite claims that multiple studies say up to 17,000 people could be impacted by the amnesty neither the Department nor the Minister have been able to provide actual references to back up that claim. Attempts to confirm the number with the purported source of those studies, the Migrants Rights Centre of Ireland (MRCI), saw the MRCI tell Gript’s Gary Kavanagh that they could not even recall the name of the studies in question.

Attempts to confirm the numbers through Freedom of Information requests have yielded nothing, with the Department of Justice having so far failed to respond to the request at all, despite it now being substantially beyond the date on which they were statutorily bound to do so.

However, even that figure has now been abandoned and today’s reports on this wonderful dispensation of goodies by the Irish people refer to “around 20,000” such “undocumented.”  It will be interesting to see how many people do come forward rather than prefer to remain in the netherworld that obviously has connections to trafficking and crime.

As Gript has pointed out before, there are not even accurate estimates of how many “undocumented” people there are who will now be able to claim residency rights and all that goes with that. Including, in a large number perhaps even most cases, public accommodation and social welfare. Which we know for a considerable number is a lifelong guarantee.

Will it be 17,000? 20,000? 40,000?  More, less? Do the numbers even matter? Nobody in official Ireland seems to care. The Minister, despite clearly not having any real idea how many people she’s offering amnesty to, says this will “improve the lives of thousands of people across the country.”

Perhaps it will. Good luck to them. We also know, of course, that all of this has not improved the lives of thousands of people who are already inconveniently here because they were born here or are legitimately here for other reasons.

We all know that is the case, but we are not allowed talk about it because when you are part of some great social engineering project – one that has patently failed elsewhere but the “social scientists” couldn’t be bothered counting those apples – then your job is to put up with all.

If you do not smile and roll with the punches, then you run the danger of being the object of some semi-illiterate rant dressed up as “poetry” or maybe even have a doddering folk singer on your case dribbling about how you are the same as General Franco or some such nonsense.

Such is life on the Lollipop Lane of Irish liberalism.

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