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Doherty pledges continued Sinn Féin support for undocumented Irish

23 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has commended the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) in the US for keeping the issue and the plight of the undocumented Irish in America to the fore. Senator Doherty was commenting today after ILIR Chairperson Niall O'Dowd met with new Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

He said, "I want to commend the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform for their continued persistence in keeping the plight of the undocumented Irish in America to the fore.

"This is an issue that is deep in the hearts of Irish people both here and in the US and I want to pledge Sinn Féin's continued support for the campaign.

"I recently proposed that an all party motion be passed in the Seanad in support of the undocumented Irish so that the people championing the rights of Irish people in America would be able to argue that both houses of the Oireachtas in this state are in support of their campaign. This motion was passed unanimously.

"The undocumented Irish in America play a full and positive role in US society and contribute to the economy. They have made good lives for themselves and are very much at home in the US. However the fear of not being allowed return means visits home are out of the question. This puts a huge strain on both the Irish in the US and their families here at home as they cannot return for family get-togethers, weddings or even funerals. They are effectively cut off from their families.

"Every effort must be made to keep this issue to the fore of politics both here and in the US." ENDS

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