Another week and another open borders organisation has been birthed on Irish campuses seeking to crowbar open the nation’s already loose migration regime. 

Formulated over the previous six months, ‘Against the 27th’ is a new student-led campaign that has commenced operations from its central Trinity activist hub. Its aim is to overturn the overwhelmingly endorsed 27th or Citizenship Amendment, which was voted in by 79% of the electorate in a 4:1 landslide victory in 2004, arguably one of the most popular issues the population has voted in favour of in the state’s history.

Founded by Trinity undergrad and disgruntled Hist alumni Gabrielle Fullam, as well as receiving the backing of most youth parties including Young Labour, which have launched their own semi-separate campaign, ‘Born Here, Belong Here’, against birthright citizenship, the group received a virtual launch and glowing sympathetic press coverage from college press corp..

To recap recent history on the issue, following the Good Friday Agreement, a legal loophole was left in Bunreacht opening the door on abusing birthright citizenship, leading to a very clear problem in Irish maternity wards of anchor babies and ballooning of asylum numbers. In the face of this and likely with the knowledge that EU law implicitly demands we have a homogenous migration regime, the 27th Amendment was passed on a 4:1 margin, having been backed by the then ruling Progressive Democrat-Fianna Fáil coalition.

While meeting stiff resistance from left parties and civil society groups at the time, the 27th has largely trundled along with minimal controversy, perfectly in line with the EU norm and with any attempts to deport children mothballed following ministerial intervention and a quick round of Twitter outrage. Regardless, and despite the fact we might as well have birthright citizenship through already lenient citizenship laws, the Amendment has become a flashpoint and a piece of legislative low hanging fruit for leftist whinging on structural racism to assault, with Fintan O’Toole claiming it was a national disgrace in a recent Irish Times op-ed.

In an October statement made before the group’s official launch yesterday, Fullam emphasised the group’s yearning to inform the general student body of the alleged injustices with our jus sanguinis citizenship laws which are the global norm and heavily backed by the Irish electorate in 2004. 

Knowing student activist circles expect anti-27th campaigning to garner the same amount of irrational hysteria as rhetoric on the 8th Amendment or Direct Provision and to become a feature of campus activism with the Union of Students of Ireland and even Ógra Fianna Fáil taking anti-amendment positions already. Most of the hand wringing on structural racism in Ireland is largely performative, this new campaign included, with Irish progressives falling over themselves to apply Irish context to Americanised issues.

It would also be a good time to remind prospective open border activists that a referendum is total overkill from their perspective, as a simple Oireachtas amendment could alter the law to effectively allow birthright citizenship, one which certain TDs like Mick Barry are pursuing. As calmer voices on the left have opined, a referendum on the 27th, despite doing very little for their cause, would merely be the shot in the arm for any inchoate right wing populist movement in Ireland..

The name Gabrielle Fullam may be also familiar to some campus readers of the Burkean as the character who effectively drove a sledgehammer through the Hist debating society with accusations of racism and whose rather zany list of demands this publication covered when they first aired. One of the sadly many carbon copy open border activists finding their stride beneath the shadow of the Campanile, sadly it would appear Fullam may have a long-term if not lucrative career in Ireland’s bloated open borders scene.

Unusually the launch was soon followed up by the apparent emergence of a counter organisation ‘Students for the 27th Amendment’ established in reaction to the foundation of Fullam’s ‘Against the 27th’. While seemingly just a Twitter page, the account has garnered a downright vitriolic response from the usual suspects claiming to be organising crossparty activists against the moves to abolish the 27th.

Suffice to say that, even beyond ‘Against the 27th’, open border outfits are two a penny on Irish campuses, from the usual siren calls to abolish Direct Provision to organised boycotts against corporations like Aramark who provide catering services to various asylum centres. Ireland, as the statistics points out in our inordinately generous migration policy and lax citizenship process, has arguably the most liberal regime in the entire EU bloc when it comes to citizenship, meaning the peanut gallery of well oiled open border organisations desperately need to manufacture crises of alleged systemic racism to legitimise themselves.

While smallfry now, it is worth monitoring the heartbeat of the nascent anti-27th Campaign. On Twitter one already sees PR firms and larger much better financed NGOs circling around like vultures to back the campaign in the hopes of bringing about a referendum. 

As our recent history informs us what begins as grassroots activism by a few dedicated left wing art students in Trinity soon becomes unquestionable political dogma for most if not all Irish political parties and corporations within a decade, normally when a lot of money is funneled in a certain direction. If open borders activists are hubristic enough to stand on this landmine the better, the sooner it backfires and the right of the Irish people to affirm who is resident here the better.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan

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