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    ILIR renews campaign as Obama gives mixed signals on reform

    By Noreen Bowden | April 8, 2009

    The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform has resumed its campaign on behalf of the undocumented in the United States with a meeting outside Boston this week. More than 350 attended the meeting, which was held in the Irish Cultural Center in Canton.

    ILIR President Ciaran Staunton said, “ILIR wants to make sure that this is the last generation of Irish in America that has to listen to a family member’s funeral on the telephone. It is our goal that this is the last generation of Irish to be undocumented in America.”

    Former Congressman Bruce Morrison spoke about the proposal to create a visa similar to the E-3 that was established in a deal between Australia and the US last year. Even if such a deal could be passed for Ireland, however, this visa would probably not assist the undocumented already living in the US.

    The Obama administration has given mixed signals on immigration reform in recent weeks. In March, President Obama told the Hispanic Immigration Caucus that he remained committed to comprehensive immigation reform; Obama had made a campaign pledge to address the issue in his first year in office. He said in March that he would initiate the process with a White House meeting this spring. However, Vice President Biden told a gathering of Central American leaders this month that the economy was an obstacle to immigration reform.

    “It’s difficult to tell a constituency while unemployment is rising, they’re losing their jobs and their homes, that what we should do is, in fact, legalize (illegal immigrants) and stop all deportation.”

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