PRESS RELEASE: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D. , has welcomed the publication of a draft Bill for reform of the US immigration system.
The legislation – which was drafted over several months by a bi-partisan group of eight US Senators – includes provisions that would help resolve the plight of thousands of undocumented Irish people who are living illegally in the US.
It also provides for future flows of legal migration between Ireland and the US.
Welcoming the draft legislation, the Tánaiste said:
“This Bill is a very positive development which, if adopted, would help to end the great hardship and uncertainty faced by undocumented Irish in the US and their families here in Ireland.
The inclusion of a new provision to allow several thousand Irish citizens to legally avail of employment opportunities in the US every year is also particularly welcome.
Both of these issues have been a key focus of my ongoing engagement with political leaders in the US, particularly during my visit to Washington D.C. over St. Patrick’s Day when I discussed them with Ireland’s key friends on Capitol Hill and in the Administration.
I am conscious that the overall issues involved are complex and sensitive ones within the US political system and that much further debate is likely to be required before the final shape of any overall legislation becomes clear.
I would like at this stage to express on behalf of the Government our deepest appreciation to the bi-partisan group of US Senators who have spearheaded this historic initiative. The Government will continue to liaise closely with them and other key stakeholders in Congress and throughout the Irish-American community.
This draft Senate Bill is another significant step towards an ultimate outcome that has been long-sought by generations of Irish migrants to the US and their families”.
17 April 2013
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