The House will be aware that the Taoiseach and I have prioritised the issue of Irish immigration in the US since taking office. I have continuously raised immigration issues, particularly the E3 visa, in all my interactions with the US Administration and US political leaders. I discussed these matters with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and her congressional delegation when they visited Ireland in April. The Taoiseach raised the issue of the E3 visa during his high-level engagements with the US, including during the visit of President Trump this summer. The US President commented positively, indicating his support. I recognise the very strong support we have received from the White House and the US President on this issue. The issue was also raised with Vice President Pence during his visit to Ireland in September.
Our embassy in Washington DC continues its extensive outreach in support of the E3 Bill, working with a range of members from both sides of the aisles of the US House of Representatives and Senate. The special envoy to the US Congress on the undocumented, Deputy Deasy, has worked closely on this issue with my Department, engaging key US stakeholders. He has met senior officials of the US Administration and representatives of the US Congress regarding the Bill, most recently during a visit to Washington DC in September. He is supported in his work by the Americas unit of my Department and our embassy in Washington DC. I understand he will travel there again soon to continue his work.
The proposed E3 visa Bill, which would offer new opportunities for Irish citizens to live and work in the US, was introduced into the US Congress in May by Congressman Richard Neal, who many Deputies will know well. It remains before the House of Representatives. It is my hope that a vote of approval will be passed in this term of Congress and that the Bill will go to the Senate for approval and final implementation. Much work needs to be done for the Bill to become a reality and we are under no illusions as to the challenging path ahead. However, as the Deputy will be aware, we were very close to getting it passed previously. In fact, we were one vote short in the Senate of doing so. I hope this time we will be one step ahead of where we were then. We have many friends on Capitol Hill who have been very helpful in these efforts.