Irish Bishop Applauds US Immigration Bill Progress

Hopes Final Approval Will Give Undocumented Irish a Path to Citizenship

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Bishop John Kirby, Chair of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Emigrants, has welcomed yesterday’s decision of a US Senate panel for approving the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 which will, if and when enacted, create a pathway to citizenship for thousands of undocumented Irish living in the United States of America.

Bishop Kirby said “The IECE welcomes the approval of the bill which will give a path to citizenship for the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish living in the United States.  Through its centres and outreaches, the Irish Apostolate USA – the pastoral service of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Emigrants in the United States – experiences at first-hand and on a daily basis, the many difficult situations facing Irish undocumented immigrants living in the US.  However the proposed legislation will enable our emigrants to realise their dreams and ambitions, to come out of the shadows and to contribute actively as members of their local community.  Crucially it would also be a family-friendly law allowing our emigrants to return home to visit parents and loved ones, especially for important family occasions.”

Bishop Kirby concluded “I ask for prayerful support for the success of this bill.  We have had many knockbacks in the past.  We will continue to monitor this situation closely and it is our hope that this bill will be brought to the Senate floor at the earliest possible opportunity.”

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