Remember ‘citizenship tourism’? Remember ‘pregnant on arrival’? Remember when Dublin’s maternity hospitals were allegedly packed to the brim with ‘non national’ women arriving at the last minute to have citizen children? Remember the 1990 Fajujonu Supreme Court case, giving migrant parents a legal right to remain in Ireland to provide ‘care and company‘ to their citizen child? Remember the 2003 Lobe and Osayande Supreme Court appeal, ruling that ‘non-national‘ parents were no longer allowed to remain in Ireland to bring up their citizen child, privileging the State‘s right to deport and the ‘integrity of the asylum process‘ over citizen children‘s rights?
On June 11 a group of activists is marking the 2004 Citizenship Referendum in which the government of Ireland asked the electorate to put an end to birth right citizenship entitlement granted to all people born in Ireland since 1922 in favour of blood-based citizenship rights granted only to children born in Ireland one of whose parents is a citizen, or entitled to citizenship. Why are we doing this? Our main aim is to remind people of the Referendum and its effects: it was a sloppy piece of legislation, rushed through and using moral panic in relation to migrants ‘taking over’ and usurping Irish citizenship, the result of which was a two-tier citizenship and the creation of people with fewer rights than Irish citizens.