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Government failing undocumented in the US — and at home in Ireland

Your coverage of the failure to resolve the issue of undocumented Irish during the White House meeting between Taoiseach Enda Kenny and US President Barack Obama (Stalled US immigration progress ‘disappointing’, March 18) will have brought St Patrick’s Day celebrations in many homes to a swift end.

Like others before him the Taoiseach deserves every support in his efforts to clear the logjam which is leaving many caught in a black economy and cut off from their loved ones.

Your coverage references proposals put forward by Mr Kenny to try and resolve the issue, including visa waivers and a new legal route for people to start a life in the US.

Such proposals are worthy of serious consideration — not just on Capitol Hill and in the Oval Office, but in our own corridors of power where promises of immigration reform for those living in limbo in this country have not been honoured.

For over a decade successive Governments have failed to replace an immigration system which lacks clarity, transparency and an independent appeals mechanism with one which is fitting for a modern democracy.

When Mr Kenny and his colleagues gather around the cabinet table to review the results of their St Patrick’s Day missions abroad — perhaps they should look at the difficulties facing those forced to live in the shadows on both sides of the Atlantic.

Brian Killoran

Chief Executive

Immigrant Council of Ireland

2 Andrew St

Dublin 2


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