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US Senate vote a blow to undocumented Irish

8 June, 2007

Sinn Féin's Seán Crowe has expressed his disappointment at the failure of the US Senate to pass a crucial Bill that planned to reform immigration laws to allow most undocumented immigrants, including thousands of Irish people, to remain in the US legally. Crowe, who has travelled to the US on numerous occasions to lobby of immigration reform, said today that the result of the vote will be a blow to the Irish community in the US and their families back home who have suffered throughout the years due to a the restrictions of non recognition.

Speaking today Crowe said, "I want to express my disappointment at the result of the vote last night which will come as a huge blow to the many thousands of Irish people in the US and their families and friends here at home.

"The undocumented Irish in the US work very hard and make a huge contribution to the US economy. They play a full, positive and progressive role in the community, sporting, cultural social fabric and every other aspect of American Society. And they want to continue playing that role and, if given legal status, even greater roles in the new homes and communities in which they live in. They have made good lives for themselves and are very much at home in the US. However, the fear of not being allowed re-enter has meant that they are effectively cut off from their families here at home. Visits home for family get-togethers, weddings or even funerals are all out of the question.

"The result of yesterday's vote is a setback but this issue is not one which is likely to go away. Regardless of people's politics the issue of the undocumented Irish in America and the hardships that go with such status must be addressed." ENDS

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