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Time to galvanise political support for Irish ‘undocumented’ – Cathal Boylan

17 June, 2008

Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan welcoming the raising of the "undocumented Irish" issue by his colleague, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with US President George Bush, has said that there is a now a great opportunity to galvanise political support in the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.

Mr Boylan said:

"By all accounts George Bush was well informed about all the issues involved and spoke rather positively about the need for a settlement.

"Only last month Taoiseach Brian Cowen made it clear that the 'undocumented' Irish living and working in the US would be one of his priorities and that that he fully understood the plight of Irish citizens who are deemed illegal by the US authorities.

"The support for the many tens of thousands of undocumented coming from Irish political leaders should now be galvanised to help strengthen the hands of those fighting for the rights of these Irish people in America who find themselves in a very difficult situation.

"A platform now exists for a resolution of the plight of the 'undocumented'. It is now time to press for a resolution that would allow greater movement of people both ways between Ireland and the US. Their position must now be regularised.

"Too many of our families and friends are living in constant fear. There are families throughout Ireland whose loved ones in America can't come back if they have a bereavement, a wedding or whatever, if a relative is sick because of the fear that they may not be able to get back into America because they are undocumented." ENDS

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