The House has a number of reports from the Constitutional Convention to debate. I commend Tom Arnold and all of those who participated in the convention, including public representatives and, in particular, the 66 citizens who attended its meetings and contributed to its various debates in the past 12 months or thereabouts. The Government must respond to each of the different reports from the Constitutional Convention within six months, indicating what will be its response, for example, in terms of the possibility of holding referendums and so forth. We have already commented on a number of the convention's proposals.
The appointment of a new ambassador to Ireland is strictly a matter for the US President. No one can influence his decision, which depends on who he wishes to appoint. I spoke to one person who was approached to become the US ambassador but had to decline for health and family reasons. While I am not privy to the discussions that have taken place on any other appointment, the American side is well aware that we are anxious about this issue. I hope to have an opportunity to raise the matter with President Obama if the appointment has not been made before we meet.
Deputy Adams is well aware of what is happening in terms of immigration reform legislation in the United States. He is correct that some concerns have been expressed by members of the Republican Party. The nomination of Republican Party candidates in different districts and states for forthcoming elections may have a bearing on this issue. I hope to have direct discussions with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Boehner, during my visit. If so, I will raise this matter.
I commend the Irish ambassador to the United States, Anne Anderson, who has been very energetic on the Hill, as it is known, meeting leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress and the Senate. She also regularly updates the Government on progress being made in that regard. I also receive regular correspondence from the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform on its contacts and connections with Republican and Democratic leaders in Washington. I understand the group will hold an Irish day in Washington in the coming week or thereabouts and I hope to meet its representatives when I visit Washington. I am not sure if Deputy Adams is travelling to the United States for St. Patrick's Day. If so, we may have an opportunity to speak to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister if they are in the United States.
I hope we will achieve a breakthrough on immigration reform legislation. I do not believe the solution for Ireland is to have a separate, bilateral scenario, as with the E3 visa. If there is to be comprehensive immigration reform in the United States, it must be on a larger scale, which requires the co-operation of both the main parties. From a political point of view, I am sure this issue is of interest to both the Republicans and Democrats given the large number of people of other nationalities and from other countries involved and their potential impact on the electorate for forthcoming elections in the United States.
As we move into the latter phase of President Obama's second presidency, minds will begin to focus on these issues. This is, therefore, an important year for consideration of immigration reform. I hope the members of the Republican Party who have been expressing some concerns about reform proceeding will focus on the issue. I also hope there will be collaboration to make reform happen. For our part, we will do everything we can diplomatically and politically. If that means sending out further cross-party groups to engage in discussions with individuals, we will be prepared to do that.
I am well aware of contacts I receive, particularly from young people who are undocumented and not fully legal in the United States. It is always a source of concern to them that something may happen outside their control in respect of them being detained or whatever. That is not a good position and it is one that we and many American politicians would like to resolve. There is a bit of a blockage and I hope we can assist our US colleagues in dealing with it effectively in the interests of millions of undocumented persons who are in the United States.