Saturday, March 24, 2007

Irish Times: Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern Welcomes US immigration Bill

Last Updated: 23/03/2007 13:21
Ahern welcomes US immigration bill

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern has welcomed an immigration bill in the United States that he said would regularise the status of thousands of undocumented Irish immigrants there.

The bill - which was introduced in the House of Representatives yesterday - seeks to combine tough border security and workplace enforcement measures with other programmes that the authors said will end the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. introduction bill marks a significant advance Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern

"Rather than . . . targeting Windex-wielding cleaning ladies, or wasting millions of dollars on failed strategies of the past, our bill offers real solutions," said Representative Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat.

The bill would create a new conditional non-immigrant status for millions of illegal immigrants with a visa that would let them work and live in the country while they seek permanent status and eventual citizenship.

Mr Ahern said: "Although the legislative situation is fluid and the final outcome uncertain, the introduction of the bipartisan bill in the House marks a significant advance in the debate." Dermot Ahern

In an effort to head off opposition from some conservative Republicans and others who said similar legislation last year was an amnesty that rewarded illegal behaviour, bipartisan sponsors pointed to requirements such as paying fines, taxes and learning English.

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