Irish politicians feel hopeful that Barack Obama will deliver on immigration reform


After House Republican Speaker John Boehner came out in support of comprehensive immigration reform Irish politicians have been making their voices heard on the issue which affects up to 50,000 undocumented Irish in the US and the future flow of immigrants.

Senator Mark Daly of Fianna Fail stated “This week’s U.S. Presidential election has made members within the Republican Party reconsider their stance towards undocumented workers.

“Hopefully a compromise can be reached to finally offer an amnesty for the 50,000 Irish in America who are undocumented.

Newry and Mourne Sinn Féin Councillor Pat McGinn said he feels confident that Barack Obama’s administration will move on  comprehensive immigration reform.

He said “The President himself has recognized that the immigration system is broken and needs fixed. For the majority of people caught up in the nightmare of being classed as an illegal immigrant, there is currently no legal way to apply to become a resident/citizen of the United States. In his election victory speech he highlighted immigration as one of the issues he would address.”

He added “I along with all those who are working to highlight and address the plight of the undocumented Irish living in the USA, am committed to make sure that this is the last generation of Irish in America that has to listen to a family member’s funeral on the telephone. It is our goal that this is the last generation of Irish to be undocumented in America”.

Earlier this week Eamon Gilmore also stated that Barack Obama’s reelection to the White House brings new hope for immigration reform.

On Morning Ireland, RTE’s radio show, he said “Although that was mentioned in his first term, it didn't materialise at all. I think that is because there is a recognition in the US administration that investment is a two-way street.”

Similarly Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins said, in a letter of congratulations to Obama “The very close and warm relationship between Ireland and the United States has, with your help and encouragement, prospered during your tenure.

“I am confident that, under your leadership, our bilateral relations will be further advanced during the next four years.”


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