The problem with Citizenship Tourism
By no means is it a new scenario. Non-national women are arriving in Ireland in the late stages of pregnancy with a view to gaining Irish citizenship for their children. The strain on the countries maternity hospitals is “immense”, and of course, is not decreasing.
Back in 2002 Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Paul Byrne wrote to MicheŠl Martin in 2002 to alert him to the worsening situation caused by so-called citizenship tourists and their impact on services at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. No racism here folks, Byrne is concerned solely with the running of the hospital. The key points that Byrne is attempting to drive home include;
it was common knowledge that Nigerian women arriving in the latter stages of pregnancy were paying £5,000 to an agency to come here.
The increase in African patients was causing Irish patients to go to other hospitals, as they did not want to be in a minority, but were afraid to speak about it for fear of being labelled racist.
The number of non-national births at the hospital has more than doubled since 2000 and as it continues to rise, Mr Byrne says a large number of cases can be ascribed to citizenship tourism.
He sees Ireland as a “back door into the EU” due to the automatic citizenship loophole, which the upcoming referendum seeks to close. Dr. Byrne is, of course, in support of the motion.
If I can be allowed to echo his sentiments, I agree completely. Ireland is being smothered by these “citizenship tourists”, more so economically than anything. Ireland has become Europe’s big softy, allowing practically anyone to seek asylum here. Vote ‘yes’ on referendum day and maybe some other country can be used as Europe’s “back door”.
(Source: Irish Examiner 1 & 2 – reg required)