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Posted on July 11 2013

US immigration bill to help undocumented Irish migrants get citizenship

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023

The passing of the US immigration bill from the Senate to the House of Representatives is giving hope to undocumented Irish immigrants desperate to achieve full citizenship.

According to Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the successful passage of the bill through the House will give illegal Irish immigrants a chance to emerge from the shadows of anonymity and become legalised citizens. However, Fianna Fail Senator Mark Daly, chairman of the Ireland America Association, is warning the path to citizenship will be long and the bill’s final approval by the House is not yet a certainty.

Gilmore has welcomed the bipartisan support given to the bill during its time in the Senate, and hopes the vote is a sign that its future prospects are ensured. He will travel later this month to the US to lobby Capitol Hill politicians in support of immigration reform.

The Tanaiste sees the proposed 13-year path to citizenship as a positive development which will address the problems of undocumented Irish emigrants living in the US. He’s also pleased with the promised provision of the E3 working visa, a three-year work permit which will allow 10,500 Irish people every year to take work in America.

According to Senator Daly, any move to lessen the problems of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the US is welcome, as none can return home to attend funerals or wedding or visit their loved ones. He adds that many undocumented Irish are now married with families, and should be given the opportunity to regularise their status in the country.

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