The matter of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish living in the United States was discussed by 12 representatives from Congress at Ireland’s government buildings, Leinster House, on Wednesday.
The American politicians met with Fine Gael TD Pat Breen, according to TheJournal.ie reports. Breen is also the chair of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee.
Breen said it had been a “very constructive engagement” which he hope to make further progress with next month.
In September Breen will lead a delegation of Irish government representatives to Washington DC to further lobby US politicians on the immigration reform legislations which will soon be voted upon by the House of Representatives.
Breen called the passage of the legislation through the Senate a “landmark step in bringing about long-awaited changes to the US immigration system, which will change the lives of thousands of undocumented Irish, who are living in limbo.”
The Fine Gael politician went on to comment about how the lives of these 50,000 Irish citizens are being affected by living undocumented in the United States.
“Irish immigrants want to contribute to US society; but instead they have been living in the shadows, unable to participate fully in American life or return home to Ireland for major family events,” Breen said.
“Sadly, it’s not uncommon at Irish funerals to see somebody holding up a smartphone or tablet so that an undocumented son or daughter or brother or sister in the US can connect in a small way with the funeral of their loved one. In Co Clare, a local funeral director has started streaming funerals online for the benefit of grieving relatives who cannot get home.”
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore