Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (55)

Brendan Howlin


55. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the role of his Department in supporting the special envoy to the US Congress on the undocumented; and the resources available to the envoy. [28113/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Taoiseach appointed Deputy John Deasy as Special Envoy to the United States Congress on the Undocumented Irish in June 2017. As the Taoiseach indicated at the time of the appointment, no additional remuneration is paid to the Deputy Deasy in his role as Special Envoy.

Deputy Deasy is supported, from a logistical perspective, by my staff in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The staff resources required are drawn from existing resources in relevant sections of my Department, as needed and on a case by case basis. Deputy Deasy is, in particular, supported by the Americas Unit of my Department and by the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, D.C. Likewise, Deputy Deasy’s travel and subsistence expenses are covered from within the existing resources of my Department, as and when he undertakes activities in connection with his role as Special Envoy.

Over the last year, Deputy Deasy has engaged with key US stakeholders on the issue of E3 visas for Irish citizens. In this regard, Deputy Deasy has met with senior officials in the US Administration as well as with key representatives from the US Congress in relation to this visa bill. Over St. Patrick’s Day 2019, Deputy Deasy also accompanied the Taoiseach on some of his engagements in Washington, D.C. He also participated in key elements of the visit of US Speaker Pelosi and her accompanying Congressional delegation in April, engaged with senior US officials during the visit of President Trump in June, and took part in engagements with a bipartisan Congressional delegation that visited in July.