What is it with Irish and foreigners? For a country that has spread its citizens all over the world, it has such a high level of intolerance towards immigrants. As usual – the phenomenon is usually presented in the form of humour, craic and jokes. “Sure, ‘t is only a joke, so it doesn’t count”. Well… it does.
The timeless amounts of overhearing the following conversation:
“Such and such” had their house broken into, luckily they caught the guy doing it. “Ah good stuff, were they foreign?”
“Impossible to find a job these days, sure with all them foreigners moving in doing the job at lower wages”
“They ALL claim dole for their 7 children at home and fly over once a month to collect it”.
Now – I’m not saying that there, in fact, are no immigrants who commit crimes or social welfare fraud. I know they are there. But, the assumption bloody annoys me.
In Ireland, there are 2 sorts of immigrants: the ones that are trying their luck abroad (Polish, Latvian, Russian, etc.) because there are very few (or none) opportunities for them in the homeland. The other are refugees from countries where the situation is that bad that it forms a direct threat towards their human rights. As far as I’m aware, when you enter Ireland (or any other European country of that matter) as a refugee, you are not allowed to work until the immigration process is completely finished. As far as the first category go, I find that they mostly work on the lower scale of jobs: cleaning, farming, hospitality and sales.
I’m NOT saying that there are no immigrants who abuse the system. There most certainly are. But, on the other hand, so are many Irish. Who doesn’t know or a friend of family member, claiming the dole, working cash in hand and/or, at the same time, getting grants as a student? If the system allows it – who is more to blame, the person abusing the system, or the system that allows for it to be abused? The thing that ticks me off, is the ease of (mainly innocent) abuse that is sometimes used towards Polish, Latvians etc. for trying to make a buck abroad, when half this country is emigrating, trying to make a buck abroad.
Sometimes it reminds me of Australia, where it’s even worse. The Ozzies are quite possibly thé most racist people I’ve ever met in my life. Not just towards foreigners, but mainly towards the original inhabitants of the country they immigrated (willing-nillingly) into centuries ago.
Anyhoo, I’m having a wee rant here, as a foreigner who sounds Irish, and often has to listen to all this foreigners crap.