Representative Robert DoldIrish Echo

In this presidential election campaign like no other, the nuts and bolts of policy debate has been mostly lost amid the focus on personalities, personal foibles and alleged failings.

But immigration reform, a very hardy annual in election terms, has been bubbling to the surface in recent days.

And it is being spoken about in sober terms by Republicans and Democrats alike.

The party platforms deal extensively with immigration and, not surprisingly, there are stark differences between the two documents.

Nevertheless, some legislators seems to have been singing off the same hymn sheet, more or less.

They come from opposing sides of the aisle and appear to be looking ahead to future policy that amounts to something more than GOP candidate Donald Trump’s “extreme vetting” approach.

Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, told an Irish radio reporter - Shona Murray from Newstalk - that the Democrats supported the kind of change that would make it easier for the Irish to legally immigrate to the U.S.

This position is evident from the party’s campaign platform which advocates comprehensive immigration reform.

"I think we need more Irish immigration, so I'd like to send a message out to folks in Ireland," Booker said.

"You've a great country, but if you want to come to the United States, we love the Irish here.

"[New] Jersey has a lot of Irish blood. So I don't need to insult your nation, it's probably a beautiful, wonderful place, but come to America, guys.

"Emigrate here. We're going to change the immigration laws, make them rational.

"It's what makes America great, we need to return to that tradition as opposed to what we have right now."

Read more: Hillary Clinton fundraiser issues open invitation for Irish to emigrate to USA

Also supporting change in immigration laws are a group of GOP legislators from Illinois.

According to the political newspaper, the Hill, Senator Mark Kirk and Representative Robert Dold have stated that reform must pass in 2017.

At a recent meeting they joined Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Illinois business leaders and representatives of, a Mark Zuckerberg-backed pro-immigration advocacy organization.

Immigration reform was a priority because it's "not only an economic or national security issue, it's a human issue," Dold – who is partly Irish American - told The Hill.

The paper reported that Dold and Kirk, both moderate Republicans, are vulnerable incumbents in a blue state.

Neither is supporting Donald Trump in the presidential contest.

They are not supporting Hillary Clinton either and are expected to plump for a third party wrote-in candidate.

Dold, according to The Hill, said he disagreed with Trump-proposed mass deportations because they "separate families," adding immigration reform is not just about "low-skill workers, but also high-tech workers."

"We’re educating the best and the brightest and as soon as they graduate we kick them out," said Dold, referring to foreign students in American universities.

"We should keep them here because we know that creates more American jobs."

Added the report: “Since 2013's failed ‘Gang of Eight’ bill, however, Republican leadership has refused to consider comprehensive packages, arguing issues affecting documented and undocumented immigrants can't be dealt with in the same way.”

Dold said a “train” of distinct bills could prove an adequate compromise in 2017.

"Ultimately a package is going to have to be a bipartisan one," he said.