Irish activists lobby US politicians over immigration reform

Wednesday 12 March 2014 22.07
Today's action brought the activists to Washington
Today's action brought the activists to Washington

A group of Irish activists from across the United States travelled to Washington today, to lobby politicians on the issue of immigration reform.

There are an estimated 55,000 undocumented Irish people currently in the US, while 34 million Americans claim Irish ancestry.

Officially billed as the Irish Protest Lobby Day on the Hill, around 50 Irish and Irish-Americans gathered to pressure politicians on the issue of immigration reform.

The lobbyists were focusing their protest activities today on Republican party members.

They want a path to legalised status for the undocumented Irish already in the US, and also a new formal entry system that would allow people to come from Ireland in the future.

The Senate approved a comprehensive immigration reform bill last year, but it has yet to pass through the House of Representatives.

Despite quashing its prospects earlier this year, the Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner, recently suggested that it may still be tabled later in the year.

However, it is unlikely to happen before the mid-term elections in early November.

Those taking part in today's protest have pledged to return to lobby politicians in Washington again and again, until their message gets through and the law is amended.