Visas plan to protect migrants on trawlers

A new immigration permission scheme to allow illegal migrant workers in the fishing industry gain access to working visas is to be proposed by Minister for Justice Frances.

Ms Fitzgerald’s officials are to make the proposal at a meeting of a taskforce set up to examine the issue of migrant workers being used as cheap labour on some Irish trawlers.

The establishment of the group, which meets for the second time today, followed a report in the Guardian newspaper this month. The report, the result of a year-long investigation, said African and Asian migrant workers were being “routinely but illegally used as cheap labour on Irish fishing trawlers working out of some of the country’s most popular tourist ports”.

Officials from the Department of Justice are to table the new immigration permission scheme that would apply to migrants already working in the industry, as well as new arrivals.

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