US Senate still locked in battle over Irish E3 Visa Bill
Newry and Mourne Sinn Féin Councillor Pat McGinn has said that the ongoing effort by Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown to persuade the Senate to pass his Irish E3 Visa Bill – which would allow 10, 5000 Irish a year to go to America on non- immigrant two year visas that would be renewed every two years – is still facing tough opposition. He also said that due to the fact that Congress would be on recess this week, action on the Bill would be more likely next week.
Speaking to Newry Times, Councillor McGinn said, “Recently we were getting positive feedback and soundings about the Bill, but reports coming from activists on the ground in the USA tell us there is still opposition. Two more Republican Senators; Pennsylvania Senator Patrick Toomey and Ohio Senator Rob Portman have just come on board, after a determined lobbying campaign by Irish groups in Pennsylvania led by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. The addition of the two Republican Senators would move the numbers of senators in favour of the bill to a definite 58 just two short of a filibuster proof majority. Fifty three Democrats, led by Senator Charles Schumer have already signed on.”
The Sinn Féin elected representative, who has been involved for many years in highlighting the issue of the Undocumented Irish, continued; “There is no doubt that the passing of this Visa Bill would be welcome news, although for those classed as Undocumented, it at this stage will offer little else but hope. However, some of those involved in the lobby for Emigration Reform in the USA informed me last weekend that they had a constructive meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny during his visit to America. Hopefully we will see a united lobby here in Ireland so that a pathway to legalisation for tens of thousands of Irish people in America will finally be obtained.”
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