Rogers questions OFMdFM support of undocumented Irish

Posted by
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
SDLP MLA for South Down, Seán Rogers has lent support to the undocumented Irish in the US during an Assembly debate on the issue and questioned the commitment of OFMdFM on the issue. “I was pleased to be able to contribute to this debate on a Sinn Féin sponsored motion and welcome their latent interest in the issue,” Rogers told Newry Times. “Many will question just why Sinn Fein has had minimal involvement in the US Immigration debate. Research shows that they have only raised this issue on a few occasions in the Assembly. “Some emigrants I know, friends and past pupils of mine living and working in the United States believe the reason for the lack of support from Sinn Féin is as direct result of the that party’s close relationship with senior anti-immigration reform figures in America. “But that is a question for Sinn Féin to answer. Perhaps the fact that progress appears to being made in Washington without Sinn Féin’s input is peaking the party’s interest now. “What is clearer is the lack of action from the Office of the First and deputy First Minister,” the SDLP MLA claimed. “The SDLP question the commitment of the First Minister and The deputy First Minister to raising the plight of the undocumented and getting some positive commitment from the American Administration. “I have asked many questions on the representations that OFMdFm have made on behalf of the undocumented. In April 2012, after taking many months to answer – OFMdFM told me that the issue was raised ‘in the margins’ of meetings. “More recently the First Minister responded to me with the words – ‘we are talking about illegal immigrants rather than the undocumented’. I find this to be an incredible way to treat our people. And yes, they are our people nationalist and unionist. Americans don’t see any difference in Unionists when they cross the Atlantic – they are considered and are treated as Irish. “Likewise the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness couldn’t give me any reassurance when I pursued the same issue with him last week. There are believed to be 11million illegal immigrants in the United States including anything up to 50,000 undocumented Irish. Rogers added, “What I know of the Irish caught up in the debacle each of them is working and paying their way and contributing in full to the fiscal demands of the US Government through their taxes etc. We must do what we can to help them and it is vital that OFMDFM take a proactive role in insuring an Immigration Bill comes to the House of Representatives.”
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing

Log in