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Welcome for passing of ‘undocumented’ Irish motion - Flanagan

8 October, 2013 - by Phil Flanagan

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has welcomed the Assembly’s backing for a motion supporting reform of the US immigration system and the introduction of a pathway to citizenship for the 'undocumented' Irish in the USA.

The Speaker of the Assembly William Hay will now write to the Speaker of US House of Representatives John Boehner outlining the North’s support for immigration reform following the successful Sinn Féin motion.

The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA said:

“It is estimated that at least 70,000 Irish citizens are currently 'undocumented' in the USA but play a very important role in the economic, political, social and cultural success of that country.

"The failure of politicians in the USA to deal with this issue has affected tens of thousands of Irish emigrants, who for a variety of reasons do not hold legal residency status.

"As a result many people have been unable to return to Ireland for decades due to the fear of not being allowed back into the USA where they have now built their lives.

"There are key decisions due to be taken soon on the future of undocumented immigrants in the USA that will have profound implications for the tens of thousands of Irish living and working in the US who have no legal status.

“I am delighted that the Assembly unanimously endorsed this motion and urge all of those Congress members who have been hugely supportive of the Irish Peace Process, to work together to facilitate the passage of this important piece of legislation.”

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