Taoiseach answers questions about immigration reform in US
Today in Dail Eireann Taoiseach Enda Kenny talked about his visit to the US earlier this year. He stated that he took the opportunity while there to press the case for immigration reform and to advocate for the undocumented Irish during his meetings with the administration and political figures at all levels.
Fianna Fail leader in his questions to the Taoiseach said he welcomed the recent executive actions of President Obama which “has taken sme of the immediate pressure off the undocumented people in the US”. However, he expressed concern about the “long term security to the undocumented which has not been addressed”. He also commented on the increasing anti-immigration tone of some of the Republican presidential candidates which “is not something that would give one hope that the Republican party will end its blocking of comprehensive immigration reform any time soon”.
In his reply the Taoiseach said he did not see “much going to happen in terms of long term immigration reform” given the current political situation in the US. He agreed with the Fianna Fail leader in regard to “imflammatory comments by presidential candidates which were not warranted”.
He was also questioned by TD Denis Naughten in regard to comprehensive immigration reform.He asked if there was any possibility or “opportunity of some form immgration Bill that can be introduced before John Boehner departs as Speaker of the House next month”. He mentioned that “Minister Flanagan meet with Congressman Sensenbrenner during the week [who] intends to bring forward legislation on E3 visas which would allow people to live and work in the US and to immigrate from Ireland to the US and access visas, about 10,000 per annum. In light of the current poor prospects of comprehensive reform Deputy Naughten recommended “we look at specific solutions that can address specific problems that the Irish have… In Tandem with the E3 visa we need to ensure that young Irish people stuck in the US can come back to Ireland and avail of that E3 visa and go back to the US”.
The Taoiseach stated in response that this type of legislation would be difficult to get passed.