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Crowe calls for renewed effort on immigration reform in the US

29 June, 2007

Sinn Féin's Seán Crowe has said the issue of illegal immigrants in the US is one which will not go away and will have to be dealt with sooner rather than later. Crowe, who has visited the US on a number of occasions to lobby for immigration reform, was speaking today after the Immigration Reform Bill was defeated by the US Senate. He called for a renewed effort from all those involved in the campaign.

Speaking today Crowe said, "Last night's Senate vote will be bitterly disappointing for the thousands of undocumented Irish in the US and their families and friends at home here in Ireland. However, this issue is one which will not go away and will have to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

"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.

"While the failure to pass the Reform Bill is a huge blow to the campaign it is imperative that we re-double our efforts. There is an important role for politicians on this side of the Atlantic to show their support for this campaign. We need to send a clear message to America that we want to see full recognition of the Irish contribution to American society and the American economy." ENDS

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