Senator Dick Durbin has urged the senate to pass the E3 visa bill which will potentially allow 10,500 Irish immigrants to come and work in the US each year.

In December, Senators Schumer and Leahy introduced an amendment to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, a wider bill dealing with hi tech visas for Indians and Chinese as well as shortening waiting time restrictions on Hispanic groups. The bill would allow 10,000 Irish a year to come on two-year work visas that could then be renewed every two years.

“Our proposal is a common-sense measure that would improve the fairness and efficiency of our immigration system and further strengthen America’s special relationship with Ireland, a nation to whom we owe so much,” the Illinois senator declared in a statement.

“All 53 Democratic Senators – a solid majority of this Senate – have also pledged their support for our proposal.  Despite this broad support inside and outside of Congress, at this time there is an objection on the Republican side to passing our bill.

“We want to work with our Republican colleagues to break this impasse and create the Irish E3 visas this year. As Prime Minister Kenny has said, Ireland’s economy will recover from its current difficulties.  But with Irish emigration higher than it has been in decades, it is in the interests of both Ireland and America that we act now, without delay, to create a fair and legal way for Irish citizens to work temporarily in America,” Durbin added.


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