New deal to be reached on US visas for Irish workers, says Bruce Morrison
Bruce Morrison meeting Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore on Tuesday
Former US congressman Bruce Morrison says a deal on a new E3 visa scheme for Irish people to work in the US will be reached, saying it's not a matter of if but when.
Mr Morrison, who is currently running for Governor of Connecticut, was instrumental in ensuring thousands of Irish citizens received green cards to work in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s.
Speaking to RTÉ radio, Mr Morrison said that up to 10,500 people per year would be able to work in the US under the proposed E3 visa scheme:
It’s up right now and it could be voted on by the end of the year- that’s only a 50-50 shot but we have an agreement in the senate to get it done and it will get done either ahead of comprehensive reform or part of comprehensive reform.
There’s no doubt that it will happen, but when.
He says he believes Barack Obama's return to office bodes well for the 11 million undocumented people living in the States.
I think the president, having been reelected, has redoubled his commitment to working on this problem.
Exactly how it's going to go forward, the form of the legislation, who is going to be covered, how quickly they're going to be covered… these are all very much up in the air.
He also insisted that Irish people will be treated equally under any US immigration reform:
There are two things that are important about the Irish. They will get equal treatment … they won't get a preference and they won't get anything less.
Also we're working hard on creating a new channel for Irish people who want to come and work in the US because we know there is a demand.
The E3 Visa is not a substitute for legalisation. It's a compliment to legalisation.
Mr Morrison was in Ireland this week addressing members of the Oireachtas and meeting with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore.