The appointment of New York Senator Charles Schumer to head the Senate's immigration subcommittee is a major step in the right direction for immigration reform. Though he takes over from Senator Edward Kennedy, who will be a hard act to follow, Schumer has shown an amazing ability to deliver on issues that he cares deeply about. Immigration reform is clearly one of those issues. He was responsible for the Schumer visa program, which allows 50,000 people worldwide to come to America every year by virtue of a visa lottery. Schumer has also attended many Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform events and has been rightly praised by Irish organizations for his continued efforts on this issue and others of concern to the Irish American community. One thing is for certain - Schumer will not have taken on the role as subcommittee chairman less he intends to make things happen. His political record on issues is that once he gets involved he is totally committed to a project. It also helps that Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont is now also a key figure as head of the Judiciary Committee. Leahy is familiar with the immigration issue and the particular Irish concerns on the topic. He will also prove to be a valuable ally in the battles ahead.

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