The Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill would help undocumented Irish immigrants to obtain US citizenship. As the US Senate has passed the immigration reform bill, many undocumented Irish immigrants now hope that they would get a chance to apply for US citizenship and remain in the country. According to Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the Senate bill would give the undocumented immigrants an opportunity to emerge from the shadows and enter the legalization process. But Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly, chairman of the Ireland America Association, stated that the path to US citizenship that the Senate bill would create would be a long one and that the bill must first clear the House.
Gilmore believes that the Senate bill would address the problems of the undocumented Irish immigrants living in America. He is also happy about the Senate bill’s E3 working visa program. This new visa category would annually permit 10,500 Irish people to enter into America and work there. This E-3 visa would be valid for three years.
Senator Daly stated that he would support any measure that would solve the problems of the undocumented Irish immigrants in America. He stated that the Irish immigrants in America are unable to travel to their home countries to attend funerals, weddings and are also unable to visit their family members, as they are currently out of status. Likewise, many people in America have Irish heritage and many Irish who have relatives living in America are unable to contact them. Irish immigrants in America are now married and have families in the country and so they must be granted legal status and permitted to remain in the United States.
Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly stated that the Senate bill would positively impact the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants. The bill that has made its way through the US Senate would provide a 13 year path to US citizenship for the undocumented immigrants who are living in the country. This bill will help the Irish immigrants though they would be required to wait for several years to get Green Cards and to obtain US citizenship.
However, the House of Representatives may not simply pass the bill that the US Senate has passed. The House Speaker, John Boehner, stated that he will not bring the Gang of Eight’s bill to the House as many Republicans are against it.