Congressman Paul Ryan has come out strongly for immigration reform in a meeting with two Irish leaders in Washington this week. Ryan is a key figure especially in the upcoming House debate on the bill.

Ciaran Staunton, President of the Irish lobby for Immigration Reform, and Senator Mark Daly, spokesperson for the Irish overseas and the Diaspora, met with Ryan, the former vice presidential candidate, in Washington DC this week. Congressman Ryan in the meeting reiterated his position that the immigration system needs to be fixed and his support for change.

Ryan outlined his five principles on immigration; a pathway to legalization, an expedited pathway for children, securing borders, enforcement of laws and allowing legal immigration.

Ryan said, “It’s high time we fix this broken system,. We all must acknowledge that we have an immigration system that’s broken."

The ILIR President Ciaran Staunton emphasises to the congressman that the 50,000 undocumented irish needed a pathway to legalisation and wanted to come out of the shadows.  During the half hour meeting with the Ryan Senator Daly stated that the current and previous government remain anxious that those undocumented Irish, who had made new lives with in the United States, would be giving a pathway to legalisation.

Senator Daly and Ciaran Staunton  had 20 meetings with members of the house,  the senate and their staff over the last week.

Both Daly and Staunton called on leaders and the rank and file  in the Irish community to mobilize now as a matter of urgency to get their Senators to support the immigration bill due to be debated in the Senate next week.

ILIR President Ciaran Staunton – speaking after the  meeting with the former Republican Vp Candidate (R-WI)  and member of the House Leadership team said. ‘’This is the best opportunity in nearly 50 years for Irish Americans to open the door that has been closed.”

It is also the golden opportunity to start 50,000 of our community on their Pathway to citizenship.”

Staunton is urging Irish Americans to call their Senators especially in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, ,Ohio,Illinois and Maine.

“We need calls made to Sen Ayotte NH, Toomey PA. Portman Ohio,Kirk Illinois, Collins Maine,

They need to hear from Irish Americans at this critical time.”

“The Irish community can’t let this opportunity slip by. This bill would solve the problems of those who are here undocumented and it would help the ones coming out from Ireland in the future. We have to keep pushing it forward and get it done, once and for all.”

Mark Daly, Paul Ryan, and Ciaran Staunton