Govt must keep the pressure on to ensure progress on Undocumented Irish – Brendan Smith

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Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee Brendan Smith has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the special envoy for the Undocumented Irish in the US to continue engaging with the US government to secure bilateral visa arrangement for Irish citizens living there.

Deputy Smith was responding to a reply from the Minister for Foreign Affairs on the issue.

“I am growing increasingly concerned that the issue of the undocumented Irish is slipping off the political agenda.  The issue comes to the fore around St. Patrick’s Day and at Christmas time, but the fact of the matter is that there are tens of thousands of Irish people living in America who still do not have their status regularised.

“These are people with families, who have built a life for themselves, who pay taxes, and are contributing to US society.

“I appreciate that this is an extremely sensitive issue, and one that is difficult for governments to make progress on, however it is important that channels remain open and discussions continue.  I welcome Minister Coveney commitment to “prioritise the issue” and look forward to further engagement with the key stakeholders to ensure that the plight of the undocumented is progressed”.