Iris-US ties: US to ease immigration but bilateral accord on illegals ruled out

Legislation to ease immigration into the United States could be passed by the US Senate before the summer break, a leading US politician said yesterday in Dublin, though it would then face a battle to gain the support of a majority of the US House of Representatives. However, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez from New York, a leading figure on immigration in Washington, said Ireland had no chance of reaching a bilateral deal with the United States to deal with undocumented Irish living illegally there.

US president Barack Obama made it clear in Washington in recent days during meetings with congressional leaders that he wants comprehensive immigration reform – which has been tried before and failed.

US senator Chuck Schumer (New York) is bringing legislation to the Senate by the end of July, said Ms Velazquez, one of a number of members of Congress in Ireland this week. “It is important because the speaker of the house has made it clear that she wants the Senate to pass the legislation first and then the house will take it,” she told The Irish Times.

However, Mr Obama is under pressure from latino political leaders and others concerned about immigration, many of whom supported his bid for the White House against Republican John McCain. In Washington last week, the president said that “after all the overheated rhetoric and the occasional demagoguery on all sides around this issue, we’ve got a responsible set of leaders sitting around the table who want to actively get something done and not put it off until a year, two years, three years, five years from now, but to start working on this thing right now.”
I hope that things will improve and the proposed Immigration reforms will address the major concerns for our Iris-immigrants. We keep you posted in respect of the further developments.