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  • Undocumented resolution unlikely: Ahern

    Thursday, February 7th, 2008

    The Taoiseach dealt with a number of issues related to emigration, and particularly the undocumented in the US, during question time in the Dail yesterday. He said that a bilateral agreement that would allow Irish and American citizens to travel and work between the two countries was on hold for political reasons. Mr Ahern also noted that most of the existing models for bilateral agreements would not take care of those who were already undocumented.

    Speaking about his upcoming visit to Washington, Mr Ahern said:

    There is a strong sense in Washington that immigration reform will remain a difficult issue for the foreseeable future. While US political leaders fully acknowledge that the number of undocumented Irish is extremely small in the overall context, there is an understandable reluctance to single out one particular group for preferential treatment, and therein lies the difficulty. I do not believe anyone is against our cause, but when taken in its totality they cannot deal with it. We will, of course, continue our efforts for as long as it takes, and I shall certainly work on it again next month at the meetings that I will have.

    See the Dail report under the heading “Ireland-US relations”.