Irish PM Raises Immigration Issue

David Jackson, USA Today, March 14, 2014

President Obama welcomed the prime minister of Ireland for an early celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, but also heard about a pressing domestic issue: Immigration.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny told Obama–and, earlier, Vice President Biden–that the Irish are being treated unfairly under current immigration law, and questioned why U.S. lawmakers have been unable to agree on an overhaul.

People look at elected representatives and ask “why can’t you do these things,” Kenny said during a breakfast with Biden at vice presidential residence.

“We’ve got 50,000 (Irish) here in America, undocumented,” Kenny said. “And what we want is a process of legalization, where they pay their taxes, pay their way, raise their families, travel home and travel back . . . To do that, in terms of the numbers that are in this country is what’s going to make America. It’s what’s going to regenerate it from generation to generation.”

After the Biden breakfast, Kenny said he raised the issue with Obama in an Oval Office meeting.

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