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    Obama statement calls for path to citizenship

    By Noreen Bowden | August 28, 2008

    Senator Barack Obama’s comments on the possibility that he would consult with the Taoiseach, the British Prime Minister and Northern Irish leaders to determine whether a US envoy to Northern Ireland is still necessary have attracted much controversy. But his recent comments on Irish issues were not confined to the North.

    The comments were published on the website of the US-Ireland Alliance, which says that it is politically neutral and welcomes a similar statement from Republican Senator John McCain.

    As well as his comments on the North, Obama commented on his own Irish ancestry, Irish immigrants’ contribution to America, supporting Irish-Americans through economic policy, comprehensive immigration reform, and supporting “a changing relationship with a changed Ireland”.

    On immigration reform, Obama makes clear that he supports a path to citizenship, as well as measures to secure the borders and improve the bureaucracy. The statement says:

    Barack Obama will pursue comprehensive immigration reform that keeps open the doors of opportunity in our country. His father’s experience has informed his own views on the issue, and he has seen the enormous contributions that Irish immigrants have made to this country. In 2006, Obama marched in Chicago, IL, on behalf of immigration reform, walking shoulder to shoulder with many Irish Americans who shared their own personal stories of hope and opportunity. Barack Obama has played a leading role in crafting comprehensive immigration reform and believes that our broken immigration system can only be fixed by putting politics aside and offering a solution that strengthens our security while reaffirming our heritage as a nation of immigrants. His plan will strengthen border security, fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy, and secure a responsible path to earned citizenship for undocumented workers and their families.

    See the full statement on the US-Ireland Alliance website.

    A number of articles have appeared on Irish aspect of Obama campaign and Obama’s pick of Senator Joe Biden as his Vice-Presidential candidate. Here’s a roundup:

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