Renewed hope for Donegal’s ‘undocumented’

By Sue Doherty
Published on Thursday 22 November 2012 07:35

Things may be looking up for Donegal’s ‘undocumented’ immigrants in America, as well as for Donegal people hoping to work in the USA in future, according to a Bundoran Town Councillor.

There are 50,000 Irish undocumented in America, which includes untold numbers of people from Donegal - some estimates put the Donegal figure at between 2 and 3,000.

Sinn Féin’s Cllr. Mick McMahon met last week with former US Congressman Bruce Morrison in Dublin. The man behind the ‘Morrison Visa’, which gave 40,000 green cards to non-Americans in the 1980s, was in Ireland to address the Oireachtas on the issue of the 50,000 undocumented Irish living in the US.

Cllr. McMahon said: “The impression I got from our meeting is that the re-election of President Obama has led to a shift in attitude in the US to the plight of all immigrants there.

“President Obama is certainly taking a very strong, positive stance. He has made a public commitment to resolving the situation of those who have settled there but still live in constant fear and uncertainty.

“And one very encouraging sign is that there seems to be some movement now among Republicans, after 70% of Hispanics voted for Obama in the last election.”

Cllr. McMahon pointed to exit polls taken on election day which showed that 65% of Americans are now in favour of offering most illegal immigrants a chance to apply for legal status.

He said these factors may have led to some prominent Republicans having announced this month that they are for immigration reform.

Read more in today’s Donegal Democrat.

Renewed hope for Donegal