Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Undocumented Irish in the USA
I acknowledge the role the Taoiseach played in appointing Deputy Deasy as a special envoy.
It was a very good thing to do. Being politicians, most of us in this House know the importance of somebody from another country lobbying and maintaining contact with us. From a practical point of view, the reason I have raised the issue is that under the current administration in the United States there is heightened awareness of the immigration issue and people are concerned. The families of Irish people who have been living there for a long time and happen to be undocumented are concerned about their welfare. We have all seen cases where they are not able to return to Ireland for family occasions and so forth. I listened to the Minister's reply in detail, but I would like him to elaborate on it. He mentioned that he was dealing with two key issues. One of the issues of real concern is relief for the undocumented, that is, those who are living there. I know that the Minister is not the US Administration and cannot answer for it. I can only hold him to account by seeking assurances that both he and the Government are doing everything possible for the undocumented and trying to secure relief for them.