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Question

328. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding a regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40396/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am aware of the proposals regarding regularisation which have been put forward by the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland and I have met with their representatives, as have my officials, on a non-committal basis, to give them the opportunity of elaborating their proposals at first hand. I also acknowledge that a good deal of thought has gone into the proposals.
However I have no plans to implement a regularisation programme of the type proposed. As highlighted in replies to previous parliamentary questions EU Member States have committed "to use only case-by-case regularisation, rather than generalised regularisation, under national law, for humanitarian or economic reasons".
There is a clear obligation on anyone coming to live and work in the State to respect our laws. In this regard it remains the responsibility of all non-EEA nationals who are resident in the State to ensure that they have an appropriate permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality and the great majority of migrants fully comply with this condition. I am conscious that any significant departure from well established policies will invariably have implications for our immigration controls and the smooth functioning of the Common Travel Area with the United Kingdom.
It remains open to any foreign national, who finds him or herself in an undocumented situation, to return to their home country and apply to re-enter the State or, alternatively, to approaching the immigration authorities to seek permission to remain in the State. Such cases would be carefully considered, taking the all relevant circumstances into account, before any final decision was made. An important factor in any such consideration would be the circumstances in which the person concerned became undocumented. Following such a process it is reasonable for the State to expect that people will respect this decision.