Helping migrants to integrate
Fianna Fáil believes there is a need for a national dialogue as well as a plan for integration. Local Authorities should be funded and are best placed to support and implement the national plan at local level. The local authorities can then plan in a tailored way to meet the needs of specific areas.
The National Migrant Integration Strategy called for all Local Authorities to update their migrant integration strategies between 2017 and 2020.Yet, many of these strategies remain out of date and many local authorities have never had such a policy in place.
We must ensure that migrant integration strategies are not just seen as paying lip service. Implementation is crucial and Local Authorities must be funded accordingly.
Fianna Fáil is committed to establishing a central fund whereby Local Authorities can apply for funding related to the implementation of their strategies such as hosting intercultural events and providing training and supports for business.
We are also committed to encouraging and supporting migrants participating in politics. Many migrants are unaware that they can vote and actually run as candidates in local elections.
Currently only 3 of the serving 948 local councillors come from a migrant background. This figure is more glaring considering that some 17% of the resident population are people who were born outside Ireland.
There needs to be a national awareness raising campaign on this issue.
It is clear more needs to be done in terms of encouraging and supporting the migrant population in participating in local and national politics.
Fianna Fáil’s plan to help migrants integrate
Penalise failure to plan
Introduce financial penalties for local authorities which fail to have in place up-to-date migrant integration strategies.
Grant funding to local authorities
Establish a central fund through which local authorities can apply for funding to aid implementation of their migrant integration strategies.
Launch a national awareness campaign to advise and encourage the migrant population to engage in politics.
Hate crime legislation
Introduce hate crime legislation to make hate crime illegal.