The Irish Prime Minister has expressed optimism concerning the passage of the E3 visa bill, which would potentially allow 10,000 Irish emigrants to come and work in the US each year.

“I know that there are difficulties here,” Prime Minister Enda Kennytold IrishCentral on Thursday, adding “I hope that it proceeds”.

“For those who will want to come to America, this is a very important piece of legislation,” he added.

In New York for the second time in less than a week, as part of a three-day investment drive, the Prime Minister said the Government had re-iterated the significance of the visa bill to leaders in Washington DC.

“We have had discussions with both Republican and Democratic senators and people of influence, about the importance of this,” the Prime Minister told IrishCentral.

“I can’t predict what the outcome is going to be here, obviously there are some political considerations between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
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“The fact that you have two bills proceeding together, obviously it is a matter that the politicians themselves need to consider very carefully,” he said.

Concluding:“I can’t dictate to the American politicians, what it is that they should do but they are very aware of how important Ireland would consider this to be, so I hope that in their deliberations, they will come to a successful conclusion”.

Later today Senator Charles Schumer will meet with the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in New York to discuss the latest progress on the passage of the bill.

Addressing a large crowd at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s “Jump into Ireland” campaign at the New York Athletic Club on Thursday, the Prime Minister spoke for almost 15 minutes about the multi-faceted benefits of tourism to the Irish economy.

“We recognize as a Government that tourism is of fundamental importance to our economy,” he said.

“We appreciate the fact that you come to our shores and we are going to see to it that you get a really good quality experience during your visit,” the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister discussed youth unemployment during a morning meeting with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg,

“It’s important in a global sense to understand that once the Euro zone and European problems are sorted out, that is going to be very good for the United States in terms of trade,” he told IrishCentral.

After his New York engagement on Thursday afternoon the Prime Minister travelled to Boston where he delivered a public address at Harvard University.