The undocumented Irish have picked up a key new supporter in Congress.
Congressman Bill Delahunt (D-MA) has pledged to support the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and its efforts on behalf of the undocumented Irish in the U.S.
Congressman Delahunt is an influential member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee where much of the future of immigration reform legislation lies.
Delahunt met ILIR President Ciaran Staunton and Massachusetts directors Hugh Meehan and Jimmy Gallagher of Boston at his offices in Washington to discuss immigration reform and the situation facing the undocumented Irish community, particularly in his congressional district.
Staunton said Delahunt could not have been more supportive of comprehensive immigration reform and a system guaranteeing future migration for the Irish.
"We were deeply honored when he told us we could regard him, ‘as our leader in the House on immigration reform'’."
Staunton added, "In the past we were able to celebrate the Donnelly and Morrison visas. Hopefully, we will soon be able to rejoice in the Delahunt visas.”
Congressman Delahunt praised ILIR’s leadership in giving voice to the Irish dimension of the immigration reform campaign.
“ILIR has done a great job letting Congress know Irish America supports fair and comprehensive immigration reform. I look forward to highlighting these issues when they come before my Committee and on the floor of Congress," he said.
“The Irish have made a fantastic contribution to the development of our great country through hard work and sacrifice.
"I pledge to ILIR and the Irish American community my help in changing the tough situation facing many of today’s Irish Immigrants, both in my district and across the United States. I also look forward to ensuring that future Irish migrants have the ability to come to America, to have the opportunities my grandparents had when they came here.”
Jimmy Gallagher echoed these sentiments saying, "“Congressman Delahunt went out of his way to show concern and compassion for the undocumented Irish in his district.”