A new impetus to overhaul immigration laws in the US has been welcomed this week by Paul Connaughton TD.
US Senators this week unveiled details of immigration reforms they hope to have passed and these proposals have received the backing of President Barack Obama.
“These plans, if passed, would pave the way for thousands of undocumented Irish people in the US to gain legal status. Since being elected, I have been contacted by many parents across the West of Ireland, many of whom are elderly, expressing concern about their son or daughter’s lack of legal status in the US.
“The stories they tell are always difficult, children unable to visit elderly parents in ill health, parents fretful for their future because an adult child has built a life for themselves in the US and is unable to risk it all for a visit home.
“Of course, it is not just the elderly parents that are suffering, these Irish people in the US are afraid to apply for many jobs, afraid of what will happen if they get sick or become involved in a traffic accident,” said Deputy Connaughton.
He added that this plan offers fresh hope that those people may one day be able to return to their homeland with “proper legal status and unafraid of the ramifications on the life they have built up in the US”.
“I know that many of 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants in the US were bitterly disappointed when proposed reforms in 2007 failed to materialise, but I believe that this new plan, with the proper political impetus, could make a real difference for Irish immigrants in the US.”