Minister Ahern welcomes US Senate Judiciary Committee immigration reform bill
Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., the Minister for Foreign Affairs, warmly welcomed the passage through the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday of a comprehensive immigration reform bill which includes the key elements of the Kennedy / McCain bill. The debate now moves to the full Senate.
“I congratulate the Chairman, Senator Specter, and the Members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee on reaching consensus on the text of an immigration reform bill. Last night's agreement represents a very significant and positive development in the debate on the complex and sensitive issue of immigration reform.”
The Minister expressed particular appreciation to Senators Kennedy and McCain for their leading role in drafting the Senate Judiciary Committee bill.
“The Government is deeply appreciative to Senators Kennedy and McCain for their consistent leadership on this issue. I am delighted that the Senate Judiciary Committee has now taken on board the core aspects of their approach. In particular, I welcome the fact that the Senate Judiciary Committee bill proposes that the undocumented be able to regularise their status, with a route to permanent residency. This would mean that the undocumented would receive work and travel authorisation, which would provide them with greater protection in the work place and allow them to travel to and from the
The Minister emphasised the high priority which the Government attaches to the status of the undocumented Irish in the
“The Taoiseach and I availed fully of the valuable opportunity of our St. Patrick's Day discussions to convey our concerns in this matter directly to President Bush, to his Administration and to key Congressional figures, including Senators Kennedy and McCain.
We also had a valuable meeting with Niall O'Dowd of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR). I commend the work of the ILIR organisation which has had a significant impact on the debate in
In the critical period ahead, as the debate moves to the Senate floor, the Minister emphasised that the Government's position will continue to be very actively conveyed to all sides in the debate.
28th March 2006Top