As the Deputy will be aware, the Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020 provides the basis for a comprehensive framework for action by Government Departments and other Public Bodies to promote the successful integration of migrants and contains 76 specific commitments across a range of policy areas. These include:
- Access to citizenship;
- Public services and social inclusion;
- Employment and pathways to work;
- Community integration;
- Political participation;
- Promoting intercultural awareness and combating racism and xenophobia;
- and Sport.
Progress on the implementation of the Migrant Integration Strategy is overseen by a Cross-Departmental Monitoring and Oversight Committee chaired by my colleague David Stanton, Minister of State with special responsibility for Immigration, Equality and Integration. This Committee consists of representatives of all Government Departments and Agencies that hold lead responsibility for the implementation of one or more actions under the Strategy. Key voluntary sector organisations working in the field of migrant integration are also represented on the Committee.
Under action point 12 of the Integration Strategy, the introduction of civics and language tests for those seeking citizenship is being examined by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. I can report that discussions on same within the Cross-Departmental Monitoring and Oversight Committee are at a very early stage of consideration and as such it would be premature to comment on possible outcomes.