Republican Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa has come forward with an offer to move the E3 visa bill ahead. The bill would allow 10,500 Irish to come legally to America on renewable work visas.
“An up or down vote on Sen. Brown's Irish visa bill would be acceptable to Sen. Grassley with some modifications dealing with the skill level of those receiving an E3 visa,” Beth Levine, communications director for Grassley told CNN.
However, Levine warned that talks were ongoing adding that Grassley’s staff are “still discussing modifications with the sponsors of the bill."
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has lined up 53 Democratic senators behind his version of the E3 bill.
Grassley had been holding up passage of the bill in the US senate as well as linked legislation that would allow more skilled emigrants from India and China.
Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass) was criticized this week concerning the lack of progress on the E3 visa bill which would allow 10,500 annual work visas for Irish immigrants. The bill is an amendment attached to a wider bill dealing with hi tech visas for Indians and Chinese.
On Febuary 8th, Brown said the visa bill he filed was “about to pop” on Capitol Hill however as of late there was been no significant developments.
In a statement to CNN, Brown’s office said the E3 visa was vital to the Irish community.
"For decades, the Irish have been unfairly shut out by our immigration laws. In an effort to increase visa prospects and maintain the close bond between the United States and Ireland.
“Sen. Brown is working in a bipartisan way to add the Irish E3 program to larger, House-passed visa legislation that benefits several other countries."
Brown's Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren agreed that many skilled Irish cannot access the U.S. because of the current system.
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"We need to reform the visa system for talented Irish men and women coming to this country, and more generally we need to reform the visa system as a whole," she said.