Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the issue of the undocumented Irish must be kept to the fore of the political agenda.
Deputy O’Brien made his comments following a recent visit by members of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee to the United States.
Deputy O’Brien said, “During my recent visit to the United States I used the opportunity to raise amongst other things the issue of the undocumented Irish. I met with officials from the State Department and also the Friends of Ireland Congressional Group.
“During these meetings I stressed the need for the undocumented Irish to be kept to the fore of the political agenda both in Ireland and the United States. I also emphasised the need for both of our Governments to explore measures which could resolve this long standing issue.
“This time of year can be particularly difficult for the undocumented Irish and their families as they face another Christmas unable to return to Ireland. It is imperative that we continue to highlight this issue and work in cooperation with all levels of the United States administration to gain political will and consensus so we can move forward and resolve this matter.
“Thousands of Irish people have made their homes and their lives in the United States and have made a positive contribution to their adopted country. They are part of the fabric of both of our countries and are a key link in US-Irish relations.
“The Government must continue to press this issue and highlight the benefits of providing a legal pathway for the undocumented for all concerned. I believe it would be mutually beneficial and would help strengthen and enhance the bond between our two nations.”