Last week Gript reported that the Department of Justice appeared to have misled journalists by incorrectly claiming that multiple studies supported the claim that there are roughly 17,000 illegal immigrants in Ireland – the figure of 17,000 illegal immigrants has been referred to by both the Department and the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee in relation to the upcoming amnesty for illegal immigrants.
As previously reported, it appears that everyone involved has forgotten exactly which studies support the figure. Neither the Department, nor the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), which the Department says it originally got the figure from, could give us a copy of the relevant studies. In fact, neither the Department nor the MRCI could give us any details about the studies which support the figure, and the MRCI explicitly told us they couldn’t even remember the names of the studies – including one which the Department said the MRCI wrote.
Following a Parliamentary Question (PQ) from Carol Nolan TD (Ind) we can now add Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to the list of those who seem to be either very recalcitrant to give people the details needed to verify their figures or suffering from a very tragic, and very exact, form of memory loss.
The Minister was asked for “the titles of the studies referred to on the website of her Department in which it is it suggested that there could be up to 17,000 undocumented persons resident in the State; the location in which such studies can be accessed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.”
McEntee’s response did not name the studies, did not give a method through which those studies could be accessed, and did not contain any statement on the veracity of the claim.
The Amnesty is set to come into force early next year, presuming, of course, that the memory issues afflicting both the Department and now apparently the Minister aren’t degenerative and don’t cause them to simply forget about the amnesty entirely by January.
Prior to publication we asked the Minister if she would like to comment on the existence of the studies, and if she continues to stand over the accuracy of the claim that multiple studies suggest that there are up to 17,000 unregistered migrants in Ireland. We have yet to receive a response, but this article will be updated should we receive one.