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Irish government must pressure US administration to deliver immigration reform for Irish in America – Ó Snodáigh

6 November, 2007

Speaking at a demonstration held today outside Leinster House by the Irish American lobby group Families of the Undocumented Aengus Ó Snodaigh said it was simply wrong that so may thousands of Irish in America were facing yet another Christmas unable to visit friends and families at home.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"The Christmas period is an especially difficult time for the undocumented Irish in America. There had been high hopes earlier in the year that the US Senate would reform immigration laws in time for the undocumented to remain in America thus enabling them to come home for the holidays this year. This did not happen.

"This is an issue that also affects people right across Ireland who have family members living and working in America whom they have not set eyes on due to the restrictions on travel enforced by their undocumented status.

"Politicians on this side of the Atlantic have an important role to play in pressuring the US administration to regularise the status of the thousands of Irish whose freedom of movement is presently restricted.

"Sinn Féin has been consistent in its work to support the Irish American lobby both here and in the US. Just last month party President Gerry Adams met with the Irish Lobby for Immigrations Reform and US Senator Charles Schumer who is a noted lobbyist for immigration reform in America.

"My colleague and former TD Seán Crowe and Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan hosted an event in Stormont in June of this year to express deep disappointment at the US Senate failure to pass the necessary immigration reform. Both committed to pressure the US administration through the party's work in the Dáil and Assembly.

"The Irish in America must have their contribution to the country's society recognised and their status formalised." CRÍOCH

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