The  President of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, Ciaran Staunton, made a passionate speech at an ILIR meeting in Denver Saturday where he urged Irish Americans to remember that the Irish made up an estimated 50,000 of the 12 million undocumented people in the United States.

Staunton added that immigration reform was not about an exclusive concern of any one community; it was about people who want to share in the American Dream.

“The Irish community has as big an interest in immigration reform as any other community,” Staunton told the Denver Daily News before addressing the meeting.

Staunton pointed out that some 15 percent of the Denver population have some Irish in them.

But, he said, it was not possible right now for an Irish American in Denver to help  a family member from home to come over and take their shot in the land of opportunity.

“There is no legal way for an Irish American in Denver to bring his cousin to America to work and to participate in the American dream,” Staunton said.

The meeting took place at the Celtic Tavern in Denver.