Deputy Robert Troy.

Troy wants 'compassionate' and 'realistic' immigration debate

There needs to be a "fair, compassionate, balanced and realistic" debate on immigration, according to a local TD.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Robert Troy said that while he believes that "as a country we are far richer because of the diversity of the people who have chosen to live here" and that the government's response to the rise in people seeking international protection has been "largely comprehensive", there "still remains challenges".

"There are challenges in terms of seeking appropriate accommodation; there's the challenge of those who have come seeking international protection who have come from safe countries and have already got international protection; there's challenges in relation to the time in takes for an application to be processed."

Deputy Troy said that he believes that there needs to be "a fair, compassionate, balanced and realistic debate [on immigration] in this house". He added that if national politicians don't discuss the issue of immigration in Leinster House, "we run the risk of leaving this debate to people on the extremes and that can be very dangerous".

"I would support previous calls made earlier today that we initiate a debate on this area in the very near future."

Responding to Deputy Troy's remarks, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the Fianna Fail man was "absolutely right" and that the debate "should be fair and balanced and measured".

He also said that the debate should be "informed" and urged TDs and senators to educate themselves on the issue.

"I am not an expert on immigration law either but I am worried when I hear members of this house and members of the Upper House getting international protection mixed up with temporary protection; getting EEA getting mixed up with EU. All of us have a duty, we are all well paid people in this chamber, all of us have a duty to understand the facts and know the basics around migration."