Kenny and Obama discuss Irish immigration issues in Washington

Kenny and Obama discuss Irish immigration issues in Washington
Photo: Juno McEnroe

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been meeting with the US President Barack Obama at the Oval Office in Washington.

The President has been addressing a room full of journalists saying he wished he had the luck of the Irish in finding agreement with Republicans in Congress.

Both leaders also discussed the issue of the undocumented Irish in America.

Barack Obama says nobody has contributed to the American economy more than Ireland - saying he still wants to push for immigration reform.

The President met with Obama for about half an hour.

"The great strength of the United States has always been the willingness to welcome immigrants to our shores. That's what's made of unique and special," he said.

"And no-one has contributed more to growth and dynamism than Ireland."

Enda Kenny said he would like to see undocumented Irish immigrants have the ability to travel in and out of the United States. He said such a proposal could only be dealt with if politicians took a leadership role.

Echoing earlier remarks by his Vice President , Obama also said work to solidify the peace process in Northern Ireland is not yet finished – but commended the efforts of the Taoiseach and the Irish government.

The Taoiseach will return to the White House later for the ceremonial presentation of a bowl of shamrock.


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