Republican Congressmen in Washington will meet with the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform today as a part of their Irish Lobby Day and continued efforts to push for a reform of the immigration laws in the United States. Congress is being lobbied by the group, who argue that unfair legislation has been discriminating against immigrants from Ireland since 1965 by leaving around 55,000 Irish immigrants in the US undocumented, and cutting off ways to get legal status.
The co-founder of the group, Ciaran Staunton, says that they are hoping to meet with leaders of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives to discuss the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate that has failed to make it to a vote in the House.
Staunton says that the lobby group intends to bring with it Irish-American constituents who come from districts where Republicans are hoping for re-election in the midterm congressional elections that are set to take place in November. He thinks that summertime offers a window in which immigration reform could be passed in the House of Representatives after the primary elections where conservative anti-immigration candidates are challenging sitting Republicans.
“Our message to Republicans is that there are Irish-Americans in your constituency who want immigration reform and will support you for doing it,” Staunton says. On Thursday night the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will be giving an award in honor of Vice President Joe Biden at their annual gala in Washington DC.