Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora Senator Mark Daly has welcomed a vote by US Senators in support of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
The vote last night was part of a week-long Senate session on comprehensive immigration reform. The Bill would, for the first time, offer 11 million undocumented people in the US the opportunity to eventually become US citizens.
Senator Daly commented: “This legislation is hugely important for the 50,000 undocumented Irish currently living in the United States as well as the future flow of Irish citizens over to the US. I welcome the overwhelming endorsement by US Senators for the Bill.
“I recently spent 10 days on Capitol Hill with Ciarán Staunton of the Irish Lobby of Immigration Reform meeting with members of the Senate and Congress from both parties.
“This Bill provides for the first time a real chance for the undocumented to come out of the background and have a better way of life. What is needed now is for everybody both in Ireland and the US to use their contacts and get backing from the House of Representatives for this Bill.
“At present, thousands of undocumented Irish are confined to the US and can’t return home to see their loved ones or to attend weddings and funerals. Many of these people are married with families and are fully tax compliant. It is only right that they should be offered an opportunity to become US citizens. There must now be a concerted diplomatic effort by the Government to lobby members of the House of Representatives to support this Bill.”