Minister Ahern comments on US Immigration Reform Bill Setback
Expressing disappointment at developments in the US Senate on the issue of immigration reform, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., today said:
“I regret that the draft bill on immigration reform which has been the topic of ongoing debate in the US Senate has not been successful in gaining the necessary level of support to ensure its progress.
"I greatly appreciate the determination of those Republican and Democratic Senators, and of the White House, who have striven to achieve a bipartisan agreement on this important matter. The continued firm commitment of Senator Kennedy and others to securing a comprehensive and positive solution to this sensitive issue is welcomed by the Government and we will continue to support their efforts in this regard.
"While this is a set back, I am encouraged that the leadership of both parties in the US Senate indicated that they would bring this legislation back up for consideration
"I have asked our Embassy in Washington to provide a full assessment of the situation so that we can best review how our efforts can be brought forward to achieve an acceptable solution to the difficulties faced by the undocumented Irish in the US.”
“In addition to continuing my active contacts with key Members of the US Congress, I will discuss the situation with Mr. Niall O’Dowd and his colleagues from the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR), which provides an effective voice for the Irish undocumented throughout the US. ILIR have ensured that the Irish dimension to this issue is understood in the US and I have been happy to support them in this.
"The Government will remain actively involved in representing the concerns of the undocumented Irish and will continue to take every opportunity to convey to US political leaders the urgent need to address this issue.”