Clare McKeon Column: IMMIGRATION LAW IN A MESS; You Think It .. She Says It Citizen Babies Policy Leaves Us Open

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Byline: CLARE MCKEON

SHOULD we allow women to travel to Ireland with the express intent of having their babies here to avail of Irish citizenship? Certainly not.

Is that a racist thing to say? No. Our politicians have made a complete mess out of immigration and asylum policy.

There is a camp in Co Louth where asylum seekers stay. They can avail of some money from the state, which they send home to their countries.

Do we allow these people to work? No we don't. This is immoral and crazy.

Last year's Supreme Court ruling where non-national parents of Irish-born children did not have an automatic right to residency in Ireland has made no difference.

Pregnant women keep coming because, of course their babies, by the very fact of being born here, become Irish citizens.

Last year 22 per cent of babies born in the Coombe Hospital were born from non-nationals. At Holles Street Hospital, 20.8 per cent of babies had non-national mothers.

We have a loophole and it needs to be closed.

It is completely sensible for Ireland to get in line with the rest of Europe when it comes to citizenship policy.

There is no doubt that this loophole has led to wholesale abuse.

We need to protect ourselves. I have no doubt that it is a shame that we cannot welcome everybody with open arms regardless of where they come from but we must face facts, our system is not capable of embracing everybody. …