Schumer named new chairman of the Senate Immigration-Sub Committee
By: April Drew | Published Sunday, March 15, 2009, 3:51 PM | Updated Thursday, July 23, 2009, 5:12 PM
Staunton was in Ireland recently and met with a number of Irish political leaders including foreign minister Micheál Martin
and the new secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs
, David Cooney
Also at the meeting was Kate Hickey
of the Irish-based Friends and Families of the Undocumented Irish lobby group.
"It was fairly good," Staunton said of the two-hour meeting.
"I was very impressed with the range and depth of Martin
's knowledge of the situation both on the ground in the community and with the political situation in Washington
. He understands that we have two very important issues at hand: the issue of the undocumented and the issue of future legal access to America
," Staunton said.
"Clearly he is being kept well-up-to-date by Ambassador (Michael) Collins and others."
The meeting also included ILIR board member Bart Murphy
who joined by phone from San Francisco
Staunton said he was also impressed by David Cooney
's grasp of the issues.
"Having grown up in an immigrant house he brings a unique insight to the immigration issue," Staunton said of the British-born and now top Irish diplomat
"He has a great understanding of the diaspora," he said.