South and East Belfast Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

No Christmas joy for Irish Undocumented and their Families- A pathway to US Citizenship must be found

Published: 19 December, 2008

South Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey commenting on the continuing plight of the undocumented Irish in America has said that many Irish emigrants will not be experiencing the joy of travelling home for Christmas to visit their loved ones.


The South Belfast MLA said,

""The Christmas period is an especially difficult time for the undocumented Irish in America. There are many families here who have family members living and working in America whom they have not set eyes on due to the restrictions on travel enforced by their undocumented status.


"It is imperative that the issue of the undocumented Irish in America and all the hardships that go with such status are resolved in a humane manner. The fear of not being allowed to re-enter the US, where many Irish people have made good lives for themselves, has meant that these people have been cut off from their families and their native country.


"This has caused much hardship for the undocumented Irish and for their families back home. Return visits, holidays, weddings and even funerals in Ireland are out of the question. This is felt all the more at Christmas"


Sinn Féin has continuously highlighted the plight of the undocumented Irish. Alex Maskey added that it must be remembered that the undocumented Irish worked very hard and made a powerful contribution to American social life the economy.


"The Irish in America must have their contribution to the country's society recognised and their status formalised. We in Ireland have a responsibility to argue their case to a successful conclusion. This wrong affects us all. There will be many sad and distressed homes in Ireland this Christmas because of the failure to resolve the undocumented issue"


"The issue of the undocumented Irish remains unresolved. Our families, friends and members our communities are living under the continued threat of being demonised as felons. A pathway to Citizenship must be found for them". CRÍOCH