Irish immigration activists from across the country were guests at a White House meeting on Tuesday morning to offer input into administrative actions that President Obama may take in the coming weeks to break the political logjam that currently exists with regards to immigration reform.
The delegation included former Congressman Bruce Morrison, a long-time activist on Irish immigration issues, who told the Irish Voice that the hour-long meeting was a “listening session” which allowed the Irish group to put forward remedies that would allow for an increased future flow of immigrants, and assist those who are here undocumented.
“The White House delegation took notes and asked questions,” said Morrison. “And when the time comes for the president to make an announcement, they want us to offer support.”
Obama has said that he plans on taking a series of actions to deal with the immigration issue given the lack of movement in Congress. The actions could be unveiled as early as next month, but the White House officials didn’t give a definite time frame to the Irish activists on Tuesday.
Morrison said the group put forth a number of proposals, including ways to make the existing legal immigration system more broadly accommodating to those who want to use it, and dealing with the undocumented in various circumstances.
The group also put forth its desire to see a more liberal interpretation of existing waiver and parole rules which could assist the undocumented otherwise eligible to regularize their status. Having waivers which would eliminate the three or 10-year U.S. bans adjudicated here instead of abroad could allow otherwise eligible undocumented to legalize through an existing non-immigrant visa such as the H-1B.
The Irish group also strongly supported a proposal to offer deferred action to parents of U.S. citizen children. This would expand a 2012 program the president authorized for undocumented children brought to the U.S. by their parents, so called “Dreamers,” which allows them to apply for work permits and offered relief from the threat of deportation.