The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheal Martin, is meeting with members of Congress in Washington Wednesday and promises to highlight the plight of the Irish undocumented in the U.S.

Martin, who arrived in Washington Wednesday for a four-day visit, is expected to discuss the issue of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish with members of both Houses of Congress later today.

Martin says the talks are essential even though the issue will not be discussed in Congress until health care has been dealt with.

Martin, who recently told the Irish Voice newspaper at a round-table interview in New York that the only real way at this point to legalize the Irish undocumented was under a comprehensive immigration reform package, hopes to discuss the possibility of setting up a two-year renewable visa  for Irish citizens looking to come and work legally in the U.S.

President Barack Obama has committed to begin working on the issue of the undocumented in the U.S. early next year.

Meanwhile, Martin will also attend the inaugural meeting of the new Ireland-US Leadership Council in New York after a business breakfast with some 70 invited guests at Ireland House.

Martin will also meet leaders of the Irish community in New York and also visit a GAA project in Rockland County.