While it would not be appropriate to comment on legal advice received, I can inform the Deputy that successive Governments have ruled out the possibility of amnesties or broad regularisation. This is in line with our political commitments at EU level. Ireland along with other Member States of the EU, has committed, under the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (2008), to a case-by-case approach as opposed to mass regularisation.
It is important to emphasise, that when it comes to people living here illegally, the only option for regularisation is on a case by case basis. Where people who have had an application for residence refused or who simply overstay their permission to reside in this country and do not apply for an extension to their permission, the State must be allowed to exercise its legal right to remove them from the State.
It would be unwise to permit people to simply ignore our immigration laws and allow them and their families to remain here merely on the basis of the length of time that they have resided here without permission.
In all cases, people must engage with the authorities if they wish to be permitted to remain here legally. I would encourage any person who is resident in the State without permission to contact my Department or their local immigration office and to take all appropriate steps to regularise their family's status.