Galway West TD Noel Grealish has written to President Barack Obama, appealing to him to “regularise the position” of the 50,000 undocumented Irish” in the US.
Dep Grealish said yesterday, that as part of his ongoing representations on behalf of the undocumented Irish, he has written to President Obama directly, with a view to having their status legalised.
“The situation that exists for these people has left them in a ‘social limbo’, under constant fear of being arrested or deported,” said Dep Grealish. “All these people pay their taxes and contribute in many ways to the social and economic structure of American society, yet until their status has been recognised officially, they live in constant fear and uncertainty.”
The Carnmore man said he has “come across some heart wrenching situations”, for example when an undocumented Irish person in the US had a relative seriously ill in Ireland, yet could not travel home because of fears that he would not be allowed re-enter.
“With the new American administration now settled in and with the approach of Saint Patrick’s Day, I felt that this was an opportune time to seek the assistance of the President in this regard,” said Dep Grealish.
In his letter to President Obama, Dep Grealish referred to the very close historical bond which exists between Ireland and the US, and he pointed out “the enormous contribution made by the Irish community over many decades, in the building of America”.
He also urged President Obama to use “all the powers at his discretion as president, to assist in the plight of the undocumented Irish”.
As part of his efforts to help the undocumented Irish, Dep Grealish has also held discussions with senior American politicians, including Sen Edward Kennedy.