While Ireland is under lockdown, healthcare workers are working on the front lines to save lives every day.
Immigrants make up more than a quarter of frontline healthcare workers. The extra pressure and anxiety over immigration status often have a big impact on their mind. Other countries like France and Canada accelerate applications for citizenship for frontline migrant workers, while in Ireland migrants continue to wait for two years on average for their citizenship.
Dr. Mohsen Kamal of Children’s Health Organization in Ireland in Crumlin and Dr. Rahman from Galway University Hospital spoke to The Irish Times on how the delay in obtaining citizenship caused undue stress and frustration for immigrant workers in healthcare and how fast tracking the citizenship process will help reduce stress and improve morale:
′′ We don’t ask to change the rules. We have already met the criteria for being here for five years, paying taxes and having a good character. We only ask [the government] to process our requests faster. This year has been very difficult, not just for migrant workers but for everyone. If the government does this, it will boost our confidence and morale. It will show appreciation for the work we do. This just has to happen, we don’t have to pay for it.′′
“If we have an Irish passport, we can have better employment contracts, more job security and security for our families, and we don’t need to continually fight for visas.”
The Train Us for Ireland group has been set up to address these concerns. It represents hundreds of migrant healthcare workers seeking fast-track citizenship. For healthcare workers, citizenship means so much more than just boosting their affiliation in Irish society.
It also brings with it more stability to migrants and their families, and opens doors for training and career advancement.
Train Us for Ireland has created an online petition you can sign at https://www.change.org/…/minister-of-health-calls-for….
They have already reached halfway to their goal of getting 5000 signatures before being sent to the government.