President-elect Joe Biden's administration called on Irish undocumented to step into the light, as January 20 inauguration brings new hope for thousands living without visas in the US.
Senator Robbie Gallagher has spoken to the Donegal radio station, Highland Radio following Congressman Richard Neals addressing the Seanad (Senate) Select Committee on the matter of Irish undocumented living in the United States.
Gallagher believed that the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States on January 20, 2021, will bring new hope to the Irish.
"President-elect Biden and Congressman Richard Neal have very strong Irish roots and they're very proud of them," Gallagher said, speaking with Highland Radio.
"I was very heartened first of all by his knowledge of the undocumented. He talked about Irish people not being able to return home for the funeral of a loved one. He seemed to have great empathy and great understanding of that particular problem and he talked about the contribution of the Irish down through the years in America and how they contributed to society there from paying in social insurance and how they are paying into medicare but unfortunately were unable to get any benefits from those.
"What he said was we need them to come into the light of day rather than be operating in the darkness of shadows. So it was very heartening and I look forward to this new administration taking office now in January and hopefully a new understanding and a new empathy from that administration."
When asked whether he believed Neal had Joe Biden's ear, Gallagher said "Absolutely. And he spoke about having conversations with President-elect Biden in relation to the undocumented Irish and even how forceful, in fairness, President-elect Biden has been already in relation to the possibility of a US UK trade deal. There's been great talk from the UK side about having a trade deal with American post Brexit, but in fairness to President Biden, he made it very clear that there would absolutely be no trade deals if it in any way conflicted with or potentially damaged the Good Friday Agreement.
"To my mind, that's further evidence.... that there is a great empathy and great understanding of all matters Irish in this new administration."