Immigrants committed to Ireland despite recession – Immigrant Council of Ireland

Immigrants who have established their home in Ireland are showing they want to remain here and play their part in bringing the country out of recession, according to new figures released today (Monday, 10th September 2012) by the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

 

During the first seven-months of the year 2012 the Council’s helpline and on-line information service recorded strong demand, as people seek to stay in Ireland on a more permanent basis.

 

The Council has confirmed that so far this year advisors on its helpline have responded to 3,077 enquiries while its website has received more than 40,000 hits.

 

As it published the figures the Immigrant Council has again warned that resources were hampering its ability to assist greater numbers of people.

 

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive Officer, of the Council said:

 

“2012 is again shaping up to a busy year with many of the people and families who came here and contributed to Ireland’s economic boom, showing a determination to remain on and in many cases play an active role in the recovery.

 

The figures, which cover the first seven months of 2012, confirm that we have responded to queries from people of 145 nationalities. Citizenship remains the main area of concern with people looking for support and information as they make one of the most important applications of their lives.

 

While significant progress has been made in recent years there is still more work to do to make the system less daunting for those applying. The discretionary nature of the decision making powers governing applications coupled with a lack of transparency is causing confusion, uncertainty and even fear for people who have well established links with Ireland.

 

One of the most persistent and pressing concerns regarding the process of applying for Irish citizenship is the lack of any appeal process for those whose applications are refused. The ICI has consistently called for the introduction of an independent, transparent appeals procedure for those who are refused.

 

Brian Killoran, Information and Referral Service Coordinator at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, commenting on the figures added:

 

“It is clear that many migrants now consider Ireland home, and despite the economic situation are determined to remain and play their part in ending the recession. Through their talents and skills they helped build a prosperous Ireland and now with their lives firmly established here are ready to use their abilities to play their part in rebuilding the economy.

 

Like all organizations we have been working to get the most from our limited resources, and since May have significantly increased the information provided on line with special information factsheets on our website accounting for well over a third of the traffic it receives. We are committed to building on this success and ensuring people have the support they require.

 

The numbers contacting the helpline are expected to be down on previous years as a result of the increased use of web and social media and restricted Telephone helpline hours due to funding and resource issues.”

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