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Call for renewed focus on undocumented Irish in America

13 June, 2007


Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan has called for a renewed lobby effort by Irish political leaders after reports in America that there is a concerted attempt to revisit the immigration debate.

Mr Boylan said:

"I know that last week there was huge disappointment at the failure of the US Senate to pass the Bill on immigration reform that would allow most undocumented immigrants, including thousands of Irish people, to remain in the US legally.

"However, there is now a concerted attempt to reopen the immigration debate with some of the major media outlets including The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, and Washington Post all revisiting the story.

"It appears that Democratic Senators are working to bring the bill back and it is reported that George Bush agrees that 'we can get an immigration bill' and is going to 'stay engaged and work with Republicans who want a bill'.

"I want to call on political leaders from across Ireland to renew their efforts in lobbying the Senate leaderships and encouraging them to bring the bill on immigration reform back to the floor.

"This is an important role for politicians on this side of the Atlantic. We need to send the clear message that we need compromise to allow the many Irish people living and working in America to have their contributions properly recognised and their status formalised. We need to redouble our efforts to support this campaign here in Ireland.

"The Irish community, and indeed many other immigrant groups, makes a huge contribution not just to the American economy but to the social and cultural life of American society. This contribution should be formally and legally recognised." ENDS

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