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Minister for the Diaspora visits Washington DC and Boston

 

Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, leaves today for a four day visit to Washington DC and Boston where he will discuss immigration reform with key members of Congress; meet business leaders and visit organisations which support Irish citizens.

 

Minister Deenihan’s high-level political programme in Washington DC includes meetings with Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Richard Neal and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas when he will discuss immigration reform, Ireland’s economic recovery and the continued progress in Northern Ireland.

Speaking ahead of the visit Minister Deenihan said:

“This visit is a great opportunity to discuss progress on President Obama’s announcement on immigration reform in November. While we warmly welcomed the measures announced, we will continue to press for substantive action by Congress to ensure a longterm sustainable solution for the undocumented Irish in the United States.

“The Irish community in the US have waited a long time for progress on this issue. The Government is committed to working hard to secure improved channels for legal migration between Ireland and America to reflect the concerns and needs of the Irish community. We will ensure that immigration reform remains firmly at the top of the agenda.”

In Washington, Minister Deenihan will also attend a reception hosted by the Council on American Irish Relations to welcome the new Irish members of the 114th Congress, Congressman Brendan Boyle and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice.

He will also address the annual general meeting of Irish Network DC (IN-DC), a network focused on strengthening the cultural, economic and social ties between the US and Ireland. IN-DC is one of nineteen chapters of Irish Network USA across the United States.

In Boston, Minister Deenihan will host a business and cultural breakfast where he will meet representatives of many organisations including the Boston Irish Business Association, Irish Network Boston, Charitable Irish Society and the Irish American Partnership.

The Minister will also meet with the Irish Pastoral Center, the Irish International Immigration Center and the Irish Cultural Centre to discuss emigrant welfare and cultural support. These organisations receive support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support Programme.

Minister Deenihan said:

“This visit will allow me to see the great work done by Irish immigration centres in the US, which provide vital services to our diaspora in Boston and other American centres of Irish immigration. I want to reassure our partners in the US that we value the immense work they do to support our community, especially the more vulnerable among Irish communities. Welfare will remain the key focus of the government’s Emigrant Support Programme in 2015.”

 

ENDS

Press Office
20 January 2015

 

Notes for Editors:

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) provides funding to not-for-profit organisations and projects to support Irish communities overseas and to facilitate the development of more strategic links between Ireland and the global Irish.
  • The key objectives of the ESP are to support projects and initiatives that address the needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable Irish emigrants; enhance access for Irish emigrants and Irish community organisations to local statutory and voluntary services; foster a more vibrant sense of community and Irish identity amongst the Irish abroad; and encourage closer links between Irish communities abroad and Ireland, to the benefit of both.
  • Since 2009, the Programme also supports projects aimed at creating practical results orientated links between Ireland and the global Irish, and projects that emerged as a consequence of the Global Irish Economic Forum and its follow up. In the past ten years over €114m has been disbursed from the Emigrant Support Programme in grants.