Adams calls for waiver scheme for Undocumented Irish
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD is in Washington for St Patrick’s Day events. This morning he met the Friends of Ireland Congressional Caucus.
The Sinn Féin leader briefed Congress members on the Stormont House Agreement and the negotiations currently taking place in Belfast.
Gerry Adams also raised the issue of the undocumented Irish and outlined Sinn Féin’s support for “a waiver policy, removing the current obstacle of the three and ten-year bar for undocumented Irish citizens in the USA”.
Gerry Adams said:
“Sinn Féin supports the introduction of a waiver policy in Ireland currently available through the US Embassy in several others states which would remove the current obstacle of the three and ten-year bars for the undocumented Irish citizens in the USA.
“Implementing such a waiver would allow thousands of Irish citizens to regularise their status in the USA through legal processes currently unavailable to them.
“Currently the undocumented Irish lack the ability to regularise their status due to the current policy of three and ten-year application restrictions if they were to return to Ireland to apply for status in the USA.
“Sinn Féin understands that if this waiver system was introduced it would benefit over 25% of the Irish citizens currently undocumented.
“They could, through sponsorship or investment re-enter the country legally with a regularised status if the three and ten-year bars were waived at the Embassy in Dublin.
“A waiver scheme was operated by the US mission in Mexico. Apparently some 58,000 waivers were issued in 2012 to Mexicans who wanted to regularise their status in the US. This group would have been affected by the three and ten-year bar because they had previously overstayed in the US.
“I have spoken to the US Ambassador in Dublin about this scheme and I have written formally to him. I see no obvious reason why the same waiver scheme could not be introduced for Irish citizens.
“I will also be raising this matter with the Taoiseach. Specifically I want to know if the Irish government has formally asked the US Embassy in Dublin or the Obama Administration about this waiver scheme.”