Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality, Immigration and Integration Fiona O’Loughlin TD says a greater effort is needed to ensure migrants are given the opportunity to integrate into local community life.
Deputy O’Loughlin made the comments after obtaining new information which shows that 67% of Local Authorities do not have active migration integration strategies. Of the 31 Local Authorities, just 10 have an active migration integration strategy in place.
Deputy O’Loughlin said, “The Government launched the national Migration Integration Strategy in February 2017. Point 52 of this plan under integration in the community specifically commits to requiring Local Authorities to update their migrant integration strategy. However the information which I have obtained shows that the Local Authorities are far too slow in meeting this requirement.
“It’s of vital importance that migrants entering Ireland are given the full opportunity to engage with their local community and integrate into Irish society. The failure to achieve this will result in serious difficulties in the years ahead, as is evident in countries that have failed to integrate migrants into community life.
“The National Migration Integration strategy is the blueprint to achieving successful migrant integration into Irish society in the years ahead. However this cannot be achieved if Local Authorities fail to implement their own migrant integration strategies. It’s important to recognise that the vast majority of interaction between people and State services is through Local Authorities. The national strategy is destined to fail unless Local Authorities take their role seriously.
“Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan needs to ensure that the Government does all it can to assist Local Authorities in implementing updated active migrant integration strategies. Failure to do so could result in the emergence of serious social difficulties in the years ahead,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.