Anne Anderson, the new Irish Ambassador to the U.S., has listed immigration reform and economic ties between U.S. and Ireland as her top priorities as she takes up her position.

Speaking to the Irish Times she stated:

“The relationship between the US and Ireland has always been a unique relationship, vibrant and dynamic, but it is also a relationship that must be constantly renewed and reinvigorated.

“I see two major priorities for my posting there. Both are real bread-and-butter issues affecting families all over Ireland: economic relations and immigration reform.

“At this time of economic challenge in Ireland the economic relationship with the US is more important than ever. The US is the biggest source of foreign investment in Ireland. In trade terms it is our biggest trade partner for services, second biggest for trade in goods, and the second-largest market for tourism. It is a very competitive market out there, and we have to keep upping our game.

“I will be doing everything possible to enhance the prospect of a Bill on immigration reform getting through Congress, so that undocumented Irish can step out of the shadows and we can create a pathway for legal immigration in the future.

“Northern Ireland will also be on our agenda; we want to ensure US engagement there continues.

“Overall, my challenge as Ambassador is to project a modern, 21st-century Ireland, one which is enriched by our past but resolutely faced to the future. Whether it relates to the cultural identity we are projecting or our economic realities, it is about ensuring nothing stays in a time warp.”

Ambassador Anne AndersonPaulo Filgueiras