Diaspora Minister Joe McHugh in US to lobby for undocumented Irish

Irish Americans must push home the “plight of the undocumented Irish” in the US in light of president-elect Donald Trump’s plans to ramp up the expulsion of illegal immigrants in America.

Ireland’s Diaspora Minister Joe McHugh urged US politicians to take on the task during an official visit to Boston, Massachusetts, yesterday. Speaking at the Golden Bridges Conference, Mr McHugh admitted Government is concerned about Mr Trump’s immigration policies.

While in an interview earlier this week Mr Trump suggested he will remove up to three million people during his term in office — approximately the same amount as outgoing president Barack Obama — Mr McHugh said Irish politicians must push home the “plight” of undocumented Irish abroad.

“Availing of all opportunities to raise the issue of immigration reform with influential figures in the US, I pressed upon Boston mayor Martin Walsh and Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker the plight of the undocumented Irish, many of whom live in the Boston area,” the Fine Gael TD said.

Mr McHugh was officially in the US as guest of honour at the annual American Ireland Fund’s Boston gala, which is designed to strengthen relations between Ireland and the US.

However, his visit comes at a time when the Government is increasingly concerned about the impact of Donald Trump’s presidency on Irish citizens both at home and in America.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is in the US meeting companies including Facebook and Google which are likely to come under pressure to return to America in light of Mr Trump’s corporate tax plans, while Taoiseach Enda Kenny will also visit at the end of this month.

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