The Government is considering a special deal with the US that could ease immigration requirements in both countries following negotiations during the Taoiseach's trip to New York.
Brian Cowen says the 'pro-active' deal would ease restrictions on working visas so that US citizens, particularly young people, can work in Ireland in return for concessions on the undocumented in the US.
Commenting after meetings with those representing the undocumented, Mr Cowen said that as efforts to forge a comprehensive deal for all illegal immigrants in the US had failed, Ireland might now have to go it alone.
The Taoiseach launched what he says will be a strategic review of the relationship between Ireland and the US.
He said Ireland's political narrative was changing from one of grievance to one of acceptance and its links with the US needed to reflect that reality.
'My message has been that Ireland is a confident, successful economy with a vigorous and skilled workforce and a sound, coherent economic strategy that will address the short-term economic challenges while continuing to build for our future success,' the Taoiseach said.
Mr Cowen concludes his first official visit to the US as Taoiseach today with a further series of meetings including Chairman of the Friends of Ireland in US Congress Richie Neal.