Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ceisteanna (171)

Brendan Smith


171. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if proposals have been put recently to the United States Administration in relation to immigration reform with particular reference to the undocumented Irish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13216/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Government continues to attach a high priority to achieving a solution for the undocumented Irish living in the United States.

The Taoiseach visited Washington, D.C., from 13 to 16 March, on the occasion of St Patrick’s Day and had the opportunity to meet with the President, the Vice-President, Speaker Ryan, and the members of the Congressional Friends of Ireland group. He raised the issue of the undocumented Irish in the United States and underlined the Government’s ongoing interest in seeking a resolution to their plight.

I also raised the issue when I visited Washington, D.C., last month and our Embassy in Washington, D.C., remains very active in pursuing a solution.

The Embassy is in ongoing contact with representatives of the Administration and with contacts from both sides on Capitol Hill.

The Embassy is also working closely with and assisting Deputy John Deasy in his role as the Government’s Special Envoy to Congress on the Undocumented.

The Government will continue to explore all options with a view to finding a workable solution to this longstanding issue, while fully respecting the right of the United States to set its own immigration policies.

I can assure the Deputy that we will continue to do all that we can to help the undocumented Irish, and their families here in Ireland.