The Taoiseach told US President Barack Obama that Ireland will be heavily involved in lobbying for reform of the American immigration system.
He made the pledge at the St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House, where he presented a bowl of shamrock.
While the annual presentation of the shamrock at the White House was a solemn affair for the Taoiseach, it was a more laid-back affair for the US commander in chief - who recalled his trips to Ireland.
"I remember my own visit to Dublin, Moneygall, and Belfast – the unrushed landscape, the unrushed pint of black," he told the assembled press. "Waiting for that perfect pint is 90 seconds well spent."
The Taoiseach, however, had to focus more on the needs of the Irish and Irish-Americans in his audience, and referenced President Obama’s recent moves to reform the immigration system.
"I can assure you this evening, Mr President, that we will add our voice to the many voices calling on this congress to pass immigration reform legislation as soon as possible," he vowed.
Alongside the shamrock yesterday, the Taoiseach also gave the President a book of poems from Yeats, some of whose poetry was inscribed in the bowl of shamrock.