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Migration and the state in Ireland: history and numbers.

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Presentation on theme: "Migration and the state in Ireland: history and numbers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Migration and the state in Ireland: history and numbers

2 On a macro level, immigration processes in Ireland may usefully be understood in terms of a tension between four analytically distinct, though substantially overlapping, processes: Capitalism — a logic of capital accumulation which points towards open borders and the free flow of capital — this imperative has come to the foreground as a consequence of the labour market dynamism of the Celtic Tiger. The nation-state — which classifies, codifies, and monitors its population conjoined with a restricted narrative of ethnic and national identity and maintenance of sovereignty and security. International law — within the field of international relations, a minimal commitment to constitutional liberalism and the rule of law and international human rights obligations — this expresses itself in support various forms of international law. Labour and migrant mobilisation — The level and extent of trade union and NGO activity, and ethnic group mobilisation in Irish society.

3 The Irish Free State inherited British Laws on non-nationals - ‘aliens’ - from the Aliens Restriction Act of 1914 and Restriction Amendment Act of Drafted on the eve of the First World War The Aliens Act (1935) gave similarly extensive powers to the Irish Minister of Justice.

4 Legal framework The 1935 Aliens Act - citizens and aliens Refugee Act 1996 implemented 2000 Immigration Act deportations Illegal Immigrants Trafficking Act, 2000 Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts Immigration Act carrier liability Immigration Act immigration officers’ powers Employment Permits Act 2003 Employment permits Act 2006 Immigration and Residence Bill 2008 forthcoming

5 Jews in Ireland The Jews in Ireland – Dermot Keogh 1881 there were 472 Jews in Ireland from Russia and Lithuania. 20 years later there were 4,000. settled in the area around the South Circular road in Dublin, others in Limerick and Cork. By 1911 there were almost 5,000 Jews.

6 In 1904 a pogrom in Limerick incited by Father John Creagh: ‘The Jews came to Limerick apparently the most miserable tribe imaginable… but now they had enriched themselves and could boast of very considerable house property in the city. Their rags have been exchanged for silk. They have wormed themselves into every form of business. They are in the furniture trade, the mineral water trade, and in fact into business of every description, and traded even under Irish names.’

7 ‘I do not hesitate to say that there are no greater enemies of the Catholic Church than the Jews’. A correspondent for the Jewish Chronicle wrote: ‘The miserable cry “Down with the Jews!”, “Death to the Jews!”, “We must hunt them out”, is still ringing in my ears and sends a cold shiver through my body. Today Monday, the chief business day, Jews were attacked right and left. I myself witnessed one scene where a Jew was actually running for his life, and as he passed through one crowd he was actually hemmed in by another till the police came on the scene’

8 During the war the number of Jews allowed into Ireland may be as low as 60. Peter Berg from the Department of Justice writes: ‘There is a strong anti-Jewish feeling in this state which is particularly evident in the aliens section of the Department of Justice. Sympathy for the Jews has not been particularly excited at the recent news that some thousands are fleeing westwards because of the recent round up of a number of Communist Jews who had been prominent in governments and government service in East Europe.’

9 The Irish State’s ratification of the UN Convention on Human Rights (1951) in 1956 resulted in a legal distinction between asylum seekers and refugees. Article 17 of the Convention established the right to work of refugees. As a result refugees accepted under the UN Convention became legally entitled to welfare provision in terms of benefits, public housing, education and state training which were extended in a piecemeal fashion in subsequent decades.

10 Programme refugees Hungarian refugees 1956 In 1956 the Irish government accepted 539 Hungarian refugees following the Soviet Invasion. State avoided individuals, Jews/ Communists – families - Catholics In less than 2 years after their arrival, all but 60 of the refugees had left

11 Housed in an old army camp at Knockalsheen, Co. Limerick. In May 1957 the adult men went on hunger strike Chilean refugees 1973 The state played a minimal role in the reception of Chilean programme refugees admitted in 1973 and 1974.

12 Vietnamese refugees 1979 Bosnian refugees 1991 Kosovan refugees 1999

13 Historically, three criteria shaping State immigration policy: Question of Nationalism Question of Security Question of Economics

14 6 main bodies of data 1) Census - Central Statistics Office. 2) The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) based on a sample of 39,000 3)(DETE) – work permits 4) Department of of Social and Family Affairs – PPS 5) Department of Justice – asylum and refugee figures. 6) Garda National Immigration Bureau

15 Census – did not contain a question about nationality until 2002; a question on ethnic and cultural background was added in The 2006 asked these relevant questions Question 5 What is your place of Birth? Question 6: What is your Nationality? Question 13: What is your Religion? Question 14: What is your Cultural or Ethnic background?

16 2006 census - 419,733 non-Irish nationals living in the state, an 88% increase on the 2002 census. This constituted about 10% of the population. Projected to be 18% by 2030 The majority of non-Irish nationals were from the EU (275,2776) Asia (46,952, Africa (25,326), North and South America (21, 124).

17 Nationals The UK - 112, 548 Poland - 63, 276), Lithuania - 24,638, Nigeria - 16,300, Latvia, 13, 319 and China 11, 161, India 8, 460. More than 120,000 people from the 10 new accession states were recorded There were also 22,369 Travellers recorded.

18 According to question 14 Ethnic and Cultural - 95% of the population identified themselves as white and only 1.3% of the population identified themselves as Asian and 1% as Black. Of the 52,345 who identified themselves as Asian or Asian Irish, 16, 533 were Chinese. Of the 44, 318 who identified themselves as Black or Black Irish 40, 525 were Africans.

19 Gender of 419,733 non -Irish nationals 53% male (223, 717) and 47% female (196,016). However, the gender ratio varies quite markedly according to nationality. Thus 63.6% of the 63,090 Poles are men, but only 37.4% of the 1,812 Swedes are male. Equally almost 60% of Filipinos are female, whereas only 33.6% of Pakistani’s are female.

20 Religion. Ireland is still predominantly Catholic with the latter accounting for 86.8% of the population or 3.68 million followers However, the doubling of numbers of Hindus from 3,099 in 2002 to 6,082 in 2006 and the increase in the number of Muslims from 19,147 in 2002 to 32, third largest religion in the state, with more Muslims than Presbyterians Ireland more religiously diverse than ever.

21 There is a politics of numbers whereby various social groups and institutions have tended to exaggerate the level of immigration. Garrett Fitzgerald, himself a social conservative in relation to immigration, notes that ‘a hugely exaggerated impression was given of the number of immigrants remaining in Ireland, which fed dangerously into anti- immigrant prejudices. I found that even senior officials concerned with policy issues became convinced that the number of immigrants from eastern Europe was twice as large as was the case’ (Irish Times 07/04/2007: 14).

22 Racists and xenophobes, Politicians have equally used overstated figures as a basis for scape-goating immigrants, as for example a strain on the health service and as a basis to change citizenship laws, or for displacing local workers. By contrast NGO’s have a stake in high numbers in order to justify their funding or to highlight the normative gains of diversity, as well as community leaders because of the symbolic prestige that accrues when ‘representing’ a large national community, or as a basis to secure more resources from the government. Conflict over the exact numbers of non-Irish individuals within the state.

23 The high number of student visas issued to Chinese – in 2004 there were 21, 270 registered non-EEA students in Ireland about half of whom were from China (IOM 2006: 33) large numbers of Nigerians who applied for asylum – (from ,074 applications were made according to IRC data) - suggests that the census has underreported certain national groups. The 2002 census recorded 5,842 Chinese and 11,161 in the 2006 census whereas people working with those groups have claimed there are between 50,000 and 80,000. Equally the 2002 census recorded 8,969 Nigerians and the 2006 census 16,300 though those working with these groups put the figure closer to 40,000. Poles 63, 000 – people working with groups 200,000

24 Immigration Status Modes of Entry as non-Irish Citizens British no passport Common Travel Arrangement EU citizens with passport Tourists Asylum Seekers Work Permits/ Work Visas/ Work Authorisations Student Visa Intra-Company transfers

25 All citizens from the EU and EEA are entitled to unrestricted access to Ireland and the Irish labour market. Since EU enlargement 208 million workers have access to a single European Labour Market. Non EU/EEA citizens can enter into Ireland through various migration mechanisms. In order to work they can enter through a work permit system (since 1999 to the end of March 2007 about 120,000 work permits –not including renewals - have been issued) and a ‘green card’ system (formerly - up to February 2007 – called the work authorization/visa system in which 11,000 were issued from 2000 to 2005 about);

26 Non-Irish nationals can also enter as asylum seekers - from 1992 to the end of 2006 there were applications for asylum; as students in 2004 there were 21,270 non-EEA students registered in Ireland; and as dependants through family reunification. Individuals can also enter as tourists and illegally overstay their visa.

27 By contrast to other European countries asylum first –framed debate – less than 10% of migrants In 1992, Ireland received only thirty-nine applications for asylum. By 1996, this figure had risen to 1,179; rising to 10,325 in 2001, and peaking at 11, 634 in By 2003 it began to fall reaching 7, 900 at the end of that years and falling further to 2007 – 3,985

28 From about 1999 to 2003 Irish labour migration policy largely developed in a non- interventionist ad hoc manner primarily designed to serve the needs of the economy. In 2000 the state developed a more elaborate categorisation system to indicate a more precise connection between social rights and marketable skills. A work authorisation/visa system, with greater rights and entitlements than the work permit system, was introduced for more skilled employees to fill the acute skills shortages facing the Irish economy especially in construction, nursing and medicine, and IT. Unlike yearly work permits 2 year duration. After April 2003, the Irish state has adopted a more interventionist approach to labour migration. Henceforth, government policy assumed that most or all vacancies in the Irish labour market would be filled from EU accession countries. Simultaneously, the issuing of work permits to workers for non-EU members states was scaled back. It is estimated that 90% skills were being met from within the European Union (IT 27/02/08). This new government migration strategy also aimed to mimic migration policies in the UK, Australia, Canada, and US as well as other European countries by focusing on the recruitment of highly skilled workers as part of a shift towards a so-called ‘knowledge economy’ - the new vogue term gaining currency.


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