Born Here Belong Here – Labour Youth launch campaign for birthright citizenship
5 November 2020
Labour Youth are today (November 5th) launching the Born Here Belong Here campaign for the reintroduction of birthright citizenship.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the campaign, Labour Youth Chair Adrian McCarthy said:
"Since the introduction, and passing of the 27th Amendment by Fianna Fáil, supported by Fine Gael at the time, we have seen the disgraceful situation where Irish-born children who have lived their whole lives in the country can't get Irish passports, have difficulties accessing higher education and have even been deported to countries they aren't familiar with."
“While the Irish Government has campaigned in the United States for immigration reform to benefit our own undocumented citizens living there, there has been no progress on restoring birthright citizenship for people born in our own country.”
McCarthy noted the "shocking" treatment of Eric Zhi Ying Mei Xue, a young boy from Bray who, despite being born in Ireland and attending school in Bray, faced deportation in 2018, resulting in public outcry and a petition with tens of thousands of signatures.
“Children born here shouldn’t have to rely on high profile campaigns, and the intervention of local Ministers to avoid deportation.”
Addressing the new campaign, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik said:
"It's great to see that Labour Youth are focusing on this important issue. The Labour Party campaigned against the introduction of the 27th Amendment in 2004, and since then the damage that has been done in denying birthright citizenship to children born to migrant parents has been enormous."
Labour Youth Campaigns Officer Cian Kelly-Lyth said:
"The recent Programme for Government committed to creating pathways to naturalisation for undocumented people and their dependents. Furthermore, a 2018 Sunday Times poll showed that 71% of Irish voters believe in birthright citizenship, sending a clear and unambiguous message to the government. The Green Party in particular, who campaigned against the introduction of the 27th Amendment, must make sure this is a priority."
Over the next number of months, Labour Youth will be hosting events, lobbying politicians and spreading awareness about this issue.