Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ireland considering immigration deal with U.S

Oct 25, 2006 — DUBLIN (Reuters) - Thousands of Irish citizens living unlawfully in the United States could be legalized in return for more work permits for U.S. citizens lured to Ireland by its thriving economy, an Irish minister said on Wednesday.

"There is clear evidence to support the establishment of some form of bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Irish governments," Labour Minister Tony Killeen said in a statement after he returned from a trip to New York.

Killeen said that, while 30,000 to 40,000 illegal Irish immigrants were living in the United States, two centuries of mass emigration to the United States from Ireland because of famine and unemployment was clearly now at an end.

Ireland's Trade and Employment Ministry said more than 4,300 Americans immigrated to Ireland in search of employment in 2005, compared with 1,700 Irish people moving to the United States, where more than 10 percent of the population claims Irish descent.

Killeen said a jobs fair in New York showed how appealing Ireland had become in the wake of the "Celtic Tiger" boom.

"The interest expressed by Americans to come and work in Ireland was so great that a queue more than two-and-a-half blocks long formed outside the exhibition venue," he said.

"In less than 15 years, Ireland has gone from being the sick man of Europe to one of the most dynamic economies in the developed world."

Killeen told Reuters in New York last week that Ireland would also try to lure Irish and U.S. citizens back to Ireland where the population is now back above 4 million, having slumped to a 120-year low of 2.8 million in the 1960s.

Copyright 2006 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think an agreement such as this is an excellent idea. From American friends that i know that have visited Ireland almost all of them have expressed an interest in working and living in Ireland, most of them highly skilled professionals. One friend was even willing to enroll in an Irish university to get his masters which would have cost more than in the states.

Aswell as solving un-documented Irish situations it would strengthen links with the U.S. I believe that the best way to experience a country is to work and live in it. Americans that experience life in Ireland for a period of time would create a lasting impression of Ireland which down the line will create many cultural and economic opportunities for both countries.

It seems like a win win situation, Irish un-documented reslove their issue, further Irish generations experience American life, gain and contribute valuable skills and Americans get to live and work in Ireland contributing to an Irish economy and culture.

There probably would have to be a way that after a certain period of time in either countries to be able to get permanent resident status as a visa valid for only a few years would not be very viable after a person has committed a good chunk of their life to making a life in a country.

And judging by the perceived demand by Americans for these visas they would probably out number the demand on the Irish side. Perhaps some type of lottery system would be in order?!?