WITH newly elected Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny due in Washington, D.C. for St. Patrick’s Day, I hope he doesn’t forget his previous promises to take care of the undocumented Irish in the U.S.

I seem to remember Kenny, when he was in opposition, saying that he would support a new visa deal between the Irish and U.S. governments. The taoiseach has a golden opportunity on St. Patrick’s Day when he is in the Oval Office to talk to President Obama about Ireland’s pressing need, which could also be a golden opportunity for the U.S. because so many of the Irish who are leaving Ireland nowadays have education and skills that this country could use.

That’s always been the way with the Irish, of course – educated and ambitious, but having to leave home at the end of the day because there are no jobs available.

I hope Mr. Kenny is able to come away with some ray of hope for the Irish living here in an undocumented state, and the Irish who would surely love to come to these shores if they were able to.

The Irish economy will take years to repair, and in the meantime Irish citizens need a safe place to go, and they need legal status when they get there. This should be a top priority of the new Irish government – to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens abroad.

Kevin Cassidy
Hawthorne, New Jersey