€1.5m Integration Funds Should Be Released

I am urging the release of €1.5 million in EU allocated immigrant integration funding, following a new ERSI report revealing that negative attitude to immigrants have trebled.

Alarmingly, the report revealed that over the last decade, the percentage of Irish nationals, who have negative attitudes towards immigrants, has jumped from 6 to 22 per cent. Meanwhile, migrant advocacy organisations are facing a financial cliff edge due to a ceasation of funding.”

Approximately €1.5 million in funds allocated to Ireland by the EU for integration and refugee remains in the coffers of the Department of Justice- so I now call on Minister Shatter to instruct the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration (OPMI) to release the funds to the relevant NGOs – organisations who possess huge expertise in the areas of anti-racism, integration and community participation work.

The allocated funding is urgently needed by these organisations as a bridge to keep them afloat until the next round of EU funding- the Asylum & Migration fund (AMF)- is due in 2014. The benefits of a properly integrated society more than justify the costs involved.

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