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Doherty calls for joint Seanad motion in support of undocumented Irish

12 March, 2008

Speaking in the Seanad today Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty called on for a joint motion to be agreed by all parties and independents on the need to help the 40,000 undocumented Irish Emigrants in America who are in a difficult situation. However, this proposal was blocked by the leader of the Seanad, Fianna Fáil Senator Donie Cassidy.

Senator Doherty said, "On a number of occasions I have asked that all the Seanad party leaders and the leader of the Independents should agree a joint motion on the need to deal with 40,000 undocumented Irish emigrants in America who find themselves in a very difficult situation. I repeat this call today.

"Some people have been deported in recent years and others are at risk of being deported as we speak. Those emigrants have the courage to come out and attend meetings of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) lobby group. They have had the courage to come out and march in Washington in the knowledge that they could be deported in the next minute. This House should have the same courage and pass a motion in support of that campaign.

"This should happen prior to St. Patrick's Day when the leaders of the Government will be in America so that they can say that both Houses of the Oireachtas support the calls to have the undocumented Irish legalised.

"That motion should be passed without debate. I do not believe any party would have any problem with such a motion which can be placed on Thursday's agenda to be taken without debate. I ask the Leader to facilitate that with the other groups and show those 40,000 that we also have their interests at heart." ENDS

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