South Down Assembly Member Seán Rogers, who has been following the fortunes of Irish emigrants in America, has expressed uncertainty following the recent statement from the House Republicans in Washington.
Mr. Rogers said: “The Republicans accept that the immigration issue must be solved by what they refer to as a step-by-step, common-sense approach. They qualify this by stating that the process must start with securing America’s borders, enforcing the immigration laws and implementing robust enforcement measures.
“Also, the Republicans claim that the issues cannot be solved with a single, massive piece of legislation that few understand. They delivered a serious blow to those living in the hope of immigration reform when they publicly stated at the end of January that they would not go to a conference with the Senate’s immigration bill”.
“The recent comments by the Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo will continue to give our ‘Undocumented’ Irish in America a glimmer of hope. The Bishop did express reservations about the requirement that border enforcement targets are met prior to immigrants receiving legal status.
“The process of meeting border security goals could take years, continuing to leave millions vulnerable to deportation and he was not happy with the some of the proposal by the Republicans particularly the one that would confer legal status, and not a path to citizenship, to the undocumented in the country”.
“Bishop Elizondo did say that while he was pleased that there is a willingness to extend legal protection to those without status, we are concerned that most would be unable to achieve citizenship. He took some encouragement from the release of these principles, which hopefully will spark action in the House of Representatives to finally address the nation’s broken immigration system.
“Awaiting reform has been a saga of hope followed by disappointment and unfortunately the pattern has been repeated all too often down the years. I take a personal glimmer of hope from President Obama’s recently expressed belief that Republican Speaker John Boehner will pass immigration reform this year. I cannot say whether Speaker Boehner will act as the President believes but at least it is something for our ‘Undocumented’ and their families to hope and pray for”.]]>