Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell is encouraged by President Barack Obama’s immigration announcement from which 50,000 undocumented Irish in the United States are set to benefit.
“I’m sure many people throughout Dublin Fingal have relatives and friends in the United States who are undocumented. President’s Obama’s announcement signifies a strong start in immigration reform but I now hope that the U.S. Congress will agree on legislation which will further build upon the measures contained within this announcement.
“These new rules will protect 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, including 50,000 who are Irish. They will be able to work and travel more freely and these measures could also allow them to travel home in cases of family emergencies. Sadly, it is the case that many Irish emigrants were unable to return home to see their families and have missed many important family occasions including the funerals of loved ones.
“The Irish Embassy in Washington, which I visited recently, has been very active in pushing for immigration reform including the work of Ambassador Anne Anderson who lived in Donabate and was schooled in Rush. I commend her and her staff, and the numerous Irish immigration centres in the U.S., for the work they have done on behalf of the undocumented Irish there. While this is a strong start, more work on this issue is necessary. The Government and the Irish Embassy will continue to engage with U.S. policymakers to convey the importance of further immigration reform to Irish emigrants in America.
“I believe this announcement is the first step in acknowledging that the U.S. is the country which these undocumented migrants have chosen to call home and it will make it easier for them to enjoy normal and fulfilling lives there. I am sure that President Obama’s actions will provide relief to many families in Dublin Fingal whose relatives and friends in the U.S. have feared deportation for many years.”