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September 11, 2008
Immigration debate heats up in Ireland

Recent polls show that over 66 percent of adults in the Republic of Ireland favor more restrictive immigration policies, given the downturn of the economy.

Irish bloggers are weighing in on both sides of the immigration debate.

“The Spire” writes, “Let us oppose racism through tighter controls, so as to avoid the circumstances such as job displacement which fuel it.”

Blogger John Power considers the effect of mass immigration on children and schools.

“Back Seat Drivers” defends Nigerians, one of the largest immigrant populations in Ireland, and criticizes the Irish media’s coverage of the issue.

Despite claims that some in Ireland’s government have attempted to create a “climate of resentment,” Economist Gerard O’Neill admires the tolerance of Irish people encountering new cultures and links to an official report detailing the prevalence of discrimination in Ireland.

Migration Information provides a short outline of the immigration explosion in the Republic, which is now the second-fastest growing population in Europe. Since 1996, over 457,000 have immigrated to Ireland, a country with a population of just over 4 million.

Northern Ireland, which faces similar economic woes, has implemented harsher border checks to target illegal immigrants and plans to dismantle a passport-free zone between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Associated thumbnail courtesy of Flickr user bass_nroll under a Creative Commons license.

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