Senator Scott Brown has been criticized by ethnic minorities over his efforts to pass the E3 visa bill, which would potentially grant 10,500 work visas for Irish workers per year.
A representative from the Washington-based League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) accused Brown of “political pandering over what’s really needed”.
A Patriot Ledger Washington report states that Brent Wilkes, LULAC’s national executive director pointed out that Brown had not supported the DREAM Act, a controversial bill which would grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, if they enrolled in college or serve in the military.
“Why pick the Irish immigrants in Massachusetts,” Wilkes asked. “He obviously has an agenda and it has nothing to do with spearheading true immigration reform.”
According to Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Reform Advocacy Coalition, the issue is not isolated to Irish immigrants.
“The problem is that there are flaws in the immigration system in general, and the entire system needs to be reformed for everyone.”
“Many other nations have workers longing for a chance to come to our shores and exercise their skills.”
However Brown’s spokesman, John Donnelly, disagreed.
“For decades, the Irish have been unfairly shut out by our immigration laws, while immigration from many other countries has sharply increased,” he said.
Brown “is working to pass a legal immigration solution for the Irish that better reflects our deep cultural and economic ties,” Donnelly added.
The Irish Immigration Reform and Encouragement – IRE Act, introduced by Brown seeks to change the treatment of Irish immigration under 1965 law. The E3 program would allow skilled Irish job seekers to come to the U.S. once they acquire a job offer from a U.S. firm.