24 November 2014

Fitzgerald hails President Obama’s “transformative” immigration reform

With new US Ambassador O'Malley
-          New laws to provide protection and work permits for thousands of undocumented Irish

-          Many Irish in America will be able to travel home for the first time in years

Local TD Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice & Equality, has hailed the “transformative” reforms to US immigration law announced by President Barack Obama, which will “improve the situation of thousands of undocumented Irish in America, allowing them to travel home”.

She said:

“Since coming to office, my Government colleagues and I have been making a strong and reasoned case to our US counterparts on this critical issue, including my own recent meeting with new US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O'Malley.

“We commend President Obama for this pragmatic policy approach. His executive action will shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and grant them work permits, providing certainty and finality to the lives they have built in the US.

“Most Irish people have relatives working in the US, many of them recent emigrants, and some of them undocumented. President Obama’s common-sense approach means that many of these hard-working Irish men and women will now have an opportunity to regularise their situations. It also means they’ll finally be able to travel home to see their friends and loved ones.

“This welcome reform will resonate strongly throughout Ireland, including in my own constituency of Dublin Mid-West. Indeed, residents in my area have taken the time to raise this issue with me on numerous occasions, and I know they will be very pleased at this outcome”.