Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pulling their weight?

Why don’t we find out what our politicians are doing for our friends and family? It seems that those in Stormont are being a little more proactive than their counterparts in the South. Why don’t you phone your local politicians and ask them why this is?

Irish Times -
US candidates urged to back illegal Irish
Wed, Jan 23, 2008

Candidates for the US Presidency were today urged to pledge their support to a campaign to grant around 50,000 illegal Irish immigrants citizenship.

Letters have been sent to all Democratic and Republican candidates for the White House by Sinn Fein Assembly member Cathal Boylan urging them to resolve the plight of the undocumented Irish.

"Despite having made a positive contribution to US society, these thousands of Irish emigres find themselves classed as felons," the Newry and Armagh MLA argued.

"I have urged all of the candidates in this presidential election year, to raise the case for these hard working, law abiding Irish people to be brought into the fold of US life in a complete way, allowing them to be given an amnesty which would enable them to travel freely between their homeland and the USA without fear or penalty."

The issue of immigration has proven a hot topic on the campaign trail in the Democratic and Republican Party's White House races.

Arizona Senator John McCain, who has got off to a strong start in the hunt for the Republican nomination, has received the backing of some Irish Americans for drafting a Bill with Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy which would have created a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Other Republican rivals have been more hawkish on the issue, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and ex New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attacking each other on their immigration records during debates.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has advocated the building of a 700-mile border fence to keep out illegal immigrants.

On the Democratic side, the front-runner New York Senator Hillary Clinton and her rivals Illinois Senator Barack Obama and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards have pretty similar views - arguing for tighter border controls, cracking down on those who illegally employ and exploit immigrant labour and reforming the system to ensure immigrants do not have to choose between their families and a new life in the US.

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