SOUTH Down SDLP Assembly member Sean Rogers has expressed the hope that immigration reform will finally be addressed during the early months of President Obama’s second term in office.
Mr Rogers said: “The hope of a few years back is renewed as result of the US Senate making its principles known on the issue and the undocumented will be encouraged by the blueprint announced by the President”.
“Naturally there are questions to be asked regarding the content of the Senate’s draft and it’s going to take a great push to secure a meaningful outcome. It is satisfying to learn that the lobbying process by the long-time dedicated will continue to assure that the end product is in keeping with what our exiles really want”.
“My party the SDLP is the only party in all of Ireland that has kept up a sustained lobby on behalf of our ‘undocumented’ citizens in the US and we will continue with our efforts especially in support the Irish American campaigners some of whom have already spent several days lobbying the Senate offices of both the Republican and Democratic parties. It is pleasing to note that they are satisfied that ways and means towards legal citizenship will be included in any agreed immigration reform”.
The former principal of St. Louis Grammar School in Kilkeel Co. Down added: “I know from my contacts in America, some of whom I actually taught, that our Irish sons and daughters and young families caught up in the immigration debacle do appreciate the efforts made on their behalf by organisations such as the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers, the Irish Apostolate USA, the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants and other supportive Irish American bodies.”
Complimenting the work of the lobbying groups Mr. Rogers said: “I can assure those working so hard behind the scenes in the United States that the appreciation of our exiles is equally matched by the appreciation of their families back here in Ireland”.
Concluding Mr. Rogers said “Hopes have been built and dashed so often in the past that it is difficult to get over excited about what might soon happen. Nevertheless everyone interested in the immigration debate and that have come out in support of our exiles will welcome the fact that there is so much activity going on amongst the lobbyists and at very high levels in Government as they endeavour to bring about the long awaited immigration reform”