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Assembly asked to Champion cause of Irish undocumented in USA

14 May, 2007


Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan has asked the Assembly to write to the US Administration and all Senators to encourage them to resolve the situation facing the Irish 'undocumented' in the USA.

Mr Boylan said:

"This is a crucial time for those 40,000 plus undocumented Irish living and working in the USA.

"Sinn Féin is asking the Assembly to write, as a matter of urgency, to all US Senators and the Administration urging them to reach an immigration compromise which would secure residency for not only the Irish Undocumented but for millions of immigrants there deemed illegal by the system.

"Regardless of people's politics, the issue of undocumented Irish in America and all the hardships that go with such status has to be resolved in a humane manner.

"Sinn Féin elected representatives at all levels have constantly highlighted the matter and it is clear that the issue can be resolved but the political pressure needs to
be maintained

"The fear of not being allowed re-enter the US, where many Irish people have made good lives for themselves, has meant that these people have been cut off from their families and their native country. This has caused much hardship for the undocumented Irish and for their families back home in Ireland and has meant visits, holidays, weddings and even funerals in Ireland are out of the question. We must remember that the undocumented Irish work very hard and make a powerful contribution to American social life the economy. It is now time for them to be granted citizenship.

"A debate on a new bill in the Senate is expected shortly. It is obvious that the time has arrived again The Assembly should champion the cause. The publicly declared support of the Assembly for the undocumented, would carry a significant weight and hopefully help encourage all involved in the decision making process on the issue to finally resolve this matter." ENDS

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