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Immigration to Ireland - policies, challenges, and solutions

  • 01-06-2023 10:14am
    Registered Users Posts: 27,969 ✭✭✭✭

    Following a discussion with @Ten of Swords in the "Zero Refugee policy" thread, I am creating this one as a more general discussion on immigration to Ireland including refugees, asylum seekers, economic migrants and essentially anyone else who arrives at our shores.

    Given the challenges of discussing this topic without including all of these types, the reasons behind them, the challenges and potential opportunities it presents, and the possible solutions that could be implemented to address the issues, it was agreed to setup this more general topic.

    Obviously no one wants this to become a battleground and ideally we can discuss the issues and solutions like adults, but I'll let ToS and the other Mods handle the rules side of it. It's an important topic though and one which affects everyone in this country - now or in the near future - and it's one worthy of debate.

    To kick us off then...

    I am fully sympathetic to genuine refugees and their plight, but I recognise that we can only do so much as a small island with limited resources and a lot of serious domestic problems already that we are abjectly failing to tackle in any meaningful way. I believe that we can only do so much to help and that there is no shame or "wrongness" in recognising and admitting that.

    On top of that, I recognise that our Government's current approach is encouraging more and more people to arrive at our doors - many of whom are not refugees but economic migrants in search of a better life. Again there is nothing wrong with that either in principle - so long as they follow the established rules for entry and working here, are upfront about it, and have skills we need.

    However, we must recognise that we are already struggling to provide supports to those who are already here (both natives, EU citizens, and other more recent arrivals) and that this is having a serious and negative effect on key services and infrastructure. This only hurts us all and we need to accept (per recent polls) that we need to revisit the strategy here.

    As I've said.. charity begins at home, and we can't solve all the ills of the world, nor can we resettle everyone who arrives at our door. We need to impose stronger vetting criteria and processes, improve the turnaround time of deciding on applicants claims, enforce a stronger deportation/rejection process where needed, and put limits on the numbers we accept and process at any given time to allow this all to happen.

    We need to stop virtue signalling and grandstanding for the world about how generous and open we are, and recognise that there is nothing wrong with protecting the integrity and stability of our own State as well - economically, socially, and for the future for all who live here.

    Open to the floor...



    JP Liz V1







    Post edited by Ten of Swords on



  • Registered Users Posts: 22,755 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    This only hurts us all and we need to accept (per recent polls) that we need to revisit the strategy here.

    This is the key point right here.

    There is no ‘us’, and there is no ‘all’.

    There are people who agree with you and do nothing (per recent polls), and there are people who don’t agree with you and are doing everything (who aren’t bothered with polls).

    Both groups are working off different strategies with different aims to achieve different outcomes. Both sides are taking casualties, and neither side sees any reason to compromise their positions.

    Politicians are delighted to see both parties taking lumps out of each other, as they know it’ll set them up for life. They just need to pick a side.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭suvigirl

    I think one of the most important issues would be that posters are aware of the different types of migrants and what their status means. There seems to be a lot of people that just don't understand the difference.

    Refugee - a person who has been granted international protection.

    A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster

    Asylum seeker - someone who is looking for international protection.

    A person who has left their country and is seeking protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in another country, but who hasn't yet been legally recognized as a refugee and is waiting to receive a decision on their asylum claim.

    Economic Migrant - a person who travels from one country or area to another in order to improve their standard of living.

    Basically everyone that moves to another country.

    Illegal immigrant - a person who comes to live or work in a country that is not their own when they do not have the legal right to do this.

    Might help the discussion somewhat.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,361 ✭✭✭Ahwell

    Just a few statistics..

    Immigration, Emigration and Net Migration in Ireland, 2011- 2021

    It should by noted that the Immigrants column also includes returning Irish nationals. For example, "Of the 65,200 people who migrated to Ireland in the year to April 2021, some 30,200 (46.3%) were estimated to be Irish nationals,". Net migration had been in decline prior to the first Covid lockdown, which was in March 2020. Then of course there's the war in Ukraine, which caused the country to experience the highest population increase recorded since 2008. If that hadn't happened I doubt this thread would exist.

    There were 645,500 non-Irish nationals resident in Ireland in April 2021 and there are an estimated one million Irish-born people living abroad today.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭suvigirl

    Well then they are asylum seekers, when investigated it should be established whether they are genuine or not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭suvigirl

    There were 4.3 million people who usually lived in Ireland who indicated that they had either Irish only or dual Irish citizenship. This made up 84% of the population of usual residents. The number of non-Irish citizens increased in 2022, accounting for 12% of the population.

    • The biggest non-Irish groups were Polish and UK citizens followed by Indian, Romanian and Lithuanian.
    • Brazilian, Italian, Latvian and Spanish citizens were also among the larger non-Irish groups.

    Source: CSO Ireland

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,876 ✭✭✭bokale

    I must say I do enjoy the restaurants immigration has brought, some really cool places in Dublin these days!

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,492 ✭✭✭Nuts102

    What is the definition in ireland for an illegal immigrant?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,887 ✭✭✭Goldengirl

    Very surprised by those figures for migration as thought the numbers has been rising much more.

    Urban legend I suppiose then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 789 ✭✭✭lmao10

    Most of the posters here believe there is only one kind of migrant - an economic migrant, who is here to take advantage of the system.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭suvigirl

    No. Not necessarily.

    People who have been served with deportation orders and haven't left the country are illegally here.

    People coming from safe countries can try claiming asylum, but they are dealt with quickly and rarely granted refugee status.

    Some people might just prefer to enter illegally and work on the black market for cash in hand.

    Some people that are here illegally are trafficked in by criminal gangs and forced to work for them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭suvigirl

    Everybody is an economic Migrant!

    How about all the foreigners working in tech in this country?

    Or the Brazilians, or Filipinos.......etc etc etc

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,887 ✭✭✭Goldengirl

    I agree with 80%of what you say except for the last part.

    We are obliged to accept them at their word and apply no penalties or deport unless they have exhausted the asylum process.

    This is to protect genuine refugees fleeing persecution and torture.

    The problem is our system is swamped and they are neither being processed fast enough nor deported effectively pnce refused.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,492 ✭✭✭Nuts102

    Who has said all immigrants are economic immigrants?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭suvigirl

    That's simply not true. You can indeed get in a plane without a passport, I did it myself only last Monday. Passport was checked on arrival in Dublin.

    However, I don't believe people deliberately destroy their identification documents should be allowed entry either.

    But there is the problem that some genuine cases do have to leave their homes without documents, so we can't just turn them away without investigation. It shouldn't be very hard to check if their ID was checked before getting on board, if they 'lost ' it on the plane? Then no entry.

    Of course, you can enter by land and sea also.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭suvigirl

    The majority are. Economic Migrants are someone that moves in order to improve their standard of living. So basically everyone that goes to a different country,

    except maybe the bag packing around Oz etc, young travellers just exploring.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭suvigirl


    & The week before I left Dublin airport and walked straight out of the terminal in Heathrow and Noone checked my passport anywhere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,448 ✭✭✭Patrick2010

    Is Dublin Airport the same?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,684 ✭✭✭Furze99

    There is nothing wrong with economic migrants from outside the EU or UK coming here in principle... as long as they apply for work visas and are granted them.

    All other economic migrants must be stopped either at point of entry or very shortly afterwards and sent back from whence they came.

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