The visit of US president Barack Obama to Ireland in May is the “ideal window of opportunity” to press for legalisation for the undocumented Irish in the States.
This is the view of Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish, who is calling on the Government to make the case for “the thousands of undocumented Irish that are presently living in ‘legal limbo’ in the US”.
Dep Grealish has written to President Obama, appealing for his assistance and support in this matter.
“I know the president is well aware of this problem and that is why I think that the Irish Government should avail of his impending visit to push for political and legal reform in relation to the undocumented Irish,” he said.
Dep Grealish said that two years ago Cecilia Munoz, US director of intergovernmental affairs, announced proposed legislative reforms for the undocumented. She also stated that the president “is eager to put in place a policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system”. To date however, little, if anything, has happened.
“Currently, there are an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the US,” said Dep Grealish. “For a number of years now, I have campaigned to have the legal status of these undocumented Irish regularised. I have come across numerous cases of great difficulty and hardship that the current situation has caused to many undocumented Irish and their families here at home.”
Dep Grealish said having the backing and support of the president in this issue “would be of major significance” and he is appealing to Taoiseach Enda Kenny “to use every opportunity at their disposal, including the president’s impending visit, to press for urgent action in this regard”.