Ring keeps the pressure on for illegal Irish in USTo access a link to the article click HERE.
1/3/2007 - 11:28:17 AM
TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern has given assurances that the Government is committed to securing legal status for the thousands of undocumented Irish in the US. He was responding to a Dáil question from Mayo Deputy Michael Ring who quizzed him on what progress was being made in the campaign.
Mr. Ahern said the Government attached the highest priority to the issue of the undocumented Irish in the United States. He went on: “I continue to raise our concerns in all of my dealings with key figures in the US administration and legislature, including during a wide ranging discussion
which I had with the new US Ambassador on Nov. 1.”“
In the period since the mid-term Congressional elections, I have written to a number of senior US legislators to congratulate them on the outcome of the elections. In doing so, I have taken the opportunity to emphasise again the Government’s deep interest in the issue of the undocumented. Our Ambassador in Washington is also active in highlighting our concerns in his on-going contacts with the incoming Congressional leadership, as are officials of our Consulates across the United States. I was happy to meet again with the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR). ILIR is proving highly effective on Capitol Hill and beyond in communicating the Irish dimension to the documented issue and I have been happy to support it financially. This was the third in a series of meetings that I have had with ILIR since September and it provided a valuable opportunity to review the situation following the mid-term elections.
I will be keeping in close contact with them in the period ahead.” I now look forward to a further intensification of the Government’s efforts on behalf of the undocumented in the period ahead, in particular with key Members of the incoming Congress. Overall, my initial assessment is that the recent elections have given a boost to the prospects for reform, though the issue of comprehensive immigration reform remains difficult and divisive both in Congress and in the United States generally.
“I should emphasise also that I very much welcome the continuing commitment of Senators Kennedy and McCain to the advancement of the comprehensive approach to immigration that they have long promoted and which the Government strongly supports. I also greatly appreciate the recent reiteration by President Bush of his on-going commitment to comprehensive reform in this area. “The Government’s overriding objective continues to be to ensure that our undocumented citizens in the United States can regularise their status, travel freely to and from Ireland and ultimately secure a path to permanent residency.
“The Government’s overriding objective continues to be to ensure that our undocumented citizens in the United States can regularise their status, travel freely to and from Ireland and ultimately secure a path to permanent residency. Despite all the difficulties and challenges, I look forward to further progress on this priority issue for the Government in the coming period.” Deputy Ring said he too had traveled to the US and met with representatives of the Irish community who expressed concern that sufficient pressure was not being put on the US authorities to resolve the undocumented problem.
“This is an issue that is impacting severely on thousands of illegal Irish who cannot come home for family gatherings for fear of being stopped at Shannon and being refused entry to the US. The Taoiseach will have to up the pressure from every quarter so that this is sorted out in the short term,” concluded Deputy Ring.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Irish Government committed to securing legal status for the Irish undocumented in the US
The following article describing the Irish Government's committement to the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and the undocumented Irish in the US recently appeared in the Western People: