14 July 2010
Emigrants urged to seek advice before leaving: Archbishop cautions against looking at migrants as “disposable”
Crosscare, the social care agency of the Dublin Diocese, has seen a significant demand on the emigrant advice outreach programme in Dublin.
Co-ordinator Richard King said today that the figures released by the ESRI that 120,000 people were planning to leave this country by the end of next year were no surprise to them.
Speaking during a visit by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to the Crosscare Centre in Dublin this afternoon, Richard King said “We have seen a steady increase in the numbers of people leaving; many people who came here to find work during the boom years have been those worst affected by the downturn; and we have also young Irish people leaving.”
Richard King said that unlike the emigration of the 1980’s the same support networks in places like London, New York and Boston were often not available to those leaving today. “Our extensive experience of working with intending Irish emigrants has shown us the importance of pre-departure information. Many people who choose to leave Ireland often feel overwhelmed with the amount of issues they have to consider. Our aim is to try and make the information as accessible as possible. Planning before you leave is absolutely vital for emigrants.”
Archbishop Martin, who worked with Irish Prisoners in London in the 1960’s urged young Irish people to inform themselves as much as possible before leaving – and he cautioned against looking at people who had migrated to Ireland in the recent past as disposable in the downturn; “In times of economic downturn there is danger that we would think of immigrants as disposable, as so many commodities and factors in our consumer culture are used or disposed of according to necessity or whim. While controls of immigration are legitimate and necessary, people – together with their families – who in Irish society contribute to our common good have rights to security by the fact of their human dignity”, said Dr. Martin.
Crosscare have made available “Going To” booklets” with important information on working and living abroad – they have specific information on working visa requirements, social supports and accommodation for the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The information is available to download at www.migrantproject.ie
Crosscare also provides extensive support and resources for people who are still coming to Ireland to live and work and Irish people who are returning here having lived and worked abroad.