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75% support non-EU workers’ right to bring family into State

Resource type: News

Sunday Tribune |

A STRONG majority of people in Ireland believe that non-EU workers here on a work permit should be able to bring their families to live here with them, and that their family members should be allowed to work here, according to polls conducted by Red C for the Immigrant Council of Ireland and the Forum on Migration and Communications. Perhaps even more surprising, the polls showed that support for family reunification for migrant workers grew over time. Seventy-five percent of those polled said they believed workers from outside the EU should have the right to be joined here by their families, up from 72% in 2006. Denise Charlton pointed out that current Irish policy was having the opposite effect. “Currently, the partners and families of non-EU migrants must negotiate a bureaucratic quagmire if they wish to enter Ireland,” she said. She said that the long delays were depriving people essential to the Irish economy of the right to a family life. Conor Lenihan, junior minister with responsibility for integration, said he would raise the issue with the Department of Justice in relation to the immigration, residence and protection bill to be presented to the Dail this autumn. “It’s encouraging that Irish people seem to be viewing this topic in the same way as the non-Irish,” he said. Release of the opinion poll follows news that Canadian health recruiters were actively targeting Filipina nurses working in Ireland, offering the enticement that their families including full employment for spouses would be able to join them in Canada. It is a development that caused Minister Lenihan “concern”. “It’s a sign of the international competitive world we live in,” he said. He stressed the government was committed to avoiding ghettoisation of immigrants.