Thursday, 5 March 2020

Ceisteanna (404)

Roderic O'Gorman

Ceist:

404. Deputy Roderic O'Gorman asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of undocumented migrants living here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3289/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

It is not possible for my Department to quantify the number of undocumented migrants living in the State. Such persons ordinarily do not make themselves known to officials of the Immigration Service. As the Deputy will appreciate, irregular migration, by its very nature, is clandestine. It is not uncommon for people who are here illegally to go to extreme lengths to avoid contact with the authorities. Consequently, it is inherently difficult to quantify the extent of irregular migration.

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. 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.

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 status.