More migrants seeking and securing Irish citizenship - report

By Noel Baker

A growing number of migrants into the country are seeking and securing Irish citizenship, according to a new report published today.

The annual Integration Monitor Report by the ESRI (Economic Social and Research Institute) and Integration Ireland showed that between 2005 and the end of 2012, almost one third of European Economic Association (EEA) that moved here secured Irish citizenship.

That represents almost 54,700 people, and in 2012 alone some 20,200 non-EEA adults became Irish citizens.

However, the report also indicates that migrants are proportionately more likely than Irish people to be unemployed and that the situation is even more pronounced when it comes to youth unemployment, with one in three non-Irish nationals aged 15-24 years without a job, versus one in four Irish in the same age group.

In the latest Monitoring report, the fourth published by Integration Ireland in conjunction with the ESRI, researchers focused on migrant children at the age of three and how they fare compared with Irish three-year-olds.

It showed that:

- Immigrant mothers of three year olds are, on average, less likely to be employed than Irish mothers, despite generally having a higher level of education;

- Immigrant children are also less likely to be in non-parental childcare for eight hours or more per week, apart from those with mothers from Western Europe;

- Where immigrant children are in non-parental childcare, they are much more likely to be in crèche-based care than in the care of a relative, linked to the lack of an extended family living in Ireland;

- Experience of financial strain, particularly linked to the recession, tends to be higher among immigrant families, particularly those of African origin;

- Young immigrant children are more likely to be living in poorer households but have healthier diets than Irish youngsters. More burl=634902]here[/burl].

Killian Forde, CEO of The Integration Centre, said this monitoring report would be the last as due to funding cutbacks the organisation would no longer be able to support it.

“We can only hope that the State will prove its commitment to promoting a socially cohesive society via providing funding in this area in the future,” he said.

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