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Adams calls for greater efforts by Irish Government on undocumented

9 July, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams is in the USA on a two-day visit. This afternoon, he will attend the formal opening of the new two-storey Rockland GAA clubhouse in Rockland County by the President of the GAA Aogán Ó Fearghaíl as part of a three-day celebration for this new development.

Speaking before the event, Gerry Adams said:

“I want to commend all of those involved with the Rockland GAA development. It is an impressive addition to the many GAA facilities that already exist in other parts of the USA. It is a testimony to the courage, energy and dynamism of the Irish in the USA to retain and celebrate their sense of Irishness. This part of the Irish diaspora remains very focused on events in Ireland. 

“Many use Irish passports and, in my short time here, some people have asked me about the campaign for votes in Irish Presidential elections. Others have taken the opportunity to raise concerns around the 50,000 undocumented Irish living there. I share those concerns.”  

The Sinn Fein leader urged the Irish government to “significantly up its game in its efforts to secure a positive resolution for the thousands of undocumented Irish living in the USA”.

“Since the election of President Trump, and the introduction of new measures by the administration to expel illegal immigrants, many in the Irish American community are living in fear and apprehension of the knock on the door. According to the USA’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch of Homeland Security, there was a 37% increase in arrests on immigration charges in the first three months of President Trump’s presidency.

“Most undocumented Irish have lived in the USA for years. Some are married to US citizens and have children who go to school and have deep family ties now. They are good model citizens who contribute to their local communities and pay their taxes.

“This is a vitally important matter for Irish citizens in the USA and for their families at home worried by their lack of legal status. There is an onus on the new Taoiseach to put in place an enhanced and more focussed strategy for progressing this issue in the months ahead.

“Immigration reform is a huge political issue in the USA. It is supported by many on Capitol Hill and among those other ethnic groups also facing difficulty. The government must increase its engagement in the time ahead and intensify its lobbying campaign with the Trump administration and with congressional leaders.” 

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