Minister Ahern announces grant of €30,000.00 for Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform
Dermot Ahern TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, today announced a grant of €30,000 to support the work of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) in the United States. The grant is a further indication of the Government's strong support for measures which would grant legal residence status to undocumented Irish living in the US.
Announcing the grant, the Minister said that the Government is very supportive of the organisation which aims to highlight grass-root support for immigration reform and get the Irish American community involved in the immigration debate.
“ The ILIR has been established at a particularly critical time in the US as the legislative debate on this issue enters an important phase. The ILIR is throwing its weight behind the McCain/Kennedy immigration reform bill. In my own visits to the US I have expressed the Irish Government's strong support for this bill. The positive initiative taken by Senators McCain and Kennedy in the US Senate, mirrored by Representatives Kolbe, Flake and Gutierrez in the House of Representatives would enable undocumented Irish people to participate in the life of their adopted country, free from fear and uncertainty.”
The Minister added: “Funding to the ILIR can be seen in the wider context of the Government's strong commitment to supporting the Irish community abroad. €12 million has been made available to my Department for emigrant services in 2006. This represents an increase of 45% on 2005. I look forward this year to increasing our support for the critical work of those groups in the voluntary sector that reach out to the more vulnerable members of our community abroad.”
Note for Editors:
The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) was set up in New York in December, 2005 to lobby the US Government on behalf of the undocumented Irish in the US. It has the support of leading Irish Americans as well as that of groups such as the GAA. The purpose of the new organisation is to lobby for immigration reform at a local level, with a particular emphasis on the legislation proposed by Senators John McCain and Edward Kennedy (the 'Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act'). This will include lobbying Congressmen and Senators in a bi-partisan manner.
23th January 2006Top