Tanaiste (Irish Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore and GOP Senator Scott Brown believe “early progress” will be made on securing the Irish E3 visa bill.
Gilmore met with Brown in Washington to discuss the E3 visa program. Brown put forward a standalone bill which would add the Irish into the E-3 visa program.
The new bill will allow 10,500 Irish highly skilled workers to apply for the renewable visas allowing them to live and work in the United States indefinitely.
Speaking earlier this week Scott seemed confident that the bill was “about to pop” on Capitol Hill. He said the bill could pass as soon as this week.
He said “It really addresses something that’s been wrong and provides a legal path for citizenship…In Massachusetts we have such a strong demand for this because of our family and cultural ties. This is kind of a no brainer.”
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Speaking to MassLive Brown sympathized with how difficult it is for the Irish to enter the United States legally to work.
He said “The (Immigration and Nationality) Act put in place bureaucratic hurdles for Irish immigrants and caused Irish immigration numbers to plummet to all-time lows. Despite some legislative relief in the l990s, the Irish continue to face quotas that don’t reflect the level of demand. ...My bill would provide a legal pathway for the thousands of Irish that wish to come to this country legally."
Following a previous visit Gilmore had said that addressing the situation of the undocumented in American and reforming immigration arrangements with the United States was a priorities for the Irish Government.
However he also noted that because of the political climate in the US, the fact that it is a presidential election year and the fact that bipartisan support will be needed to pass this bill it would be difficult.
Previously GOP Senator Chuck Grassley, from Iowa, had blocked the S1983 bill when had been proposed. However now that his new amended bill excluded the “administrative waiver” Brown is confident that it will have Grassley’s support.
Gilmore is currently visiting the United States with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton. On Thursday they attended a round-table discussion on investing in Ireland by former US president Bill Clinton. The meeting was attended by 100 people from the Global Irish Network and other influential friends of Ireland.