News archive 2005

Bishop Hegarty welcomes Dáil debate on undocumented Irish in the US

Press Release

6 October 2005

Bishop Hegarty welcomes Dáil debate

on undocumented Irish in the US

“If legislation is to be effective it must
take account of the undocumented population
in the United States which is estimated to be
over ten million people” – Bishop Hegarty

The Bishop of Derry Dr Séamus Hegarty, Chair of the Irish Episcopal
Commission for Emigrants (IECE), has welcomed the debate in the Dáil
today on the subject of the Irish Undocumented in the United States.
Bishop Hegarty said: “It is vital that we offer support to the legislation
that will bring the greatest benefit to our Irish people in the US especially
those who are undocumented.”

He continued: “In May this year on a visit to the United States I met with
many of those who after years of good citizenship in the United States face
uncertain futures. I also met with my brother Bishops at the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishop’s who are proactive in their support for the
Kennedy/McCain legislation known as ‘The Secure America and Orderly Immigration
Act of 2005’. I join with them in seeking an immigration reform package which
is humane and in the best interest of America generally”.

Bishop Hegarty further stated: “It is my firmly held conviction and that of
the American Bishops that if legislation is to be effective it must take
account of the undocumented population in the United States which is estimated
to be over ten million people.

“I look forward to discussing the issues in greater detail with the Minister
for Foreign Affairs Mr. Dermot Ahern when I meet with him in Derry tomorrow
Friday 7th October”.

Further information:

Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

Notes to Editors:

* The Irish Bishops’ Conference established a dedicated service in 1957 –
the Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants (IECE) – to help co-ordinate
support for Irish emigrants in the UK.  Since that time this outreach has
been extended to Europe, the USA and Australia.
* The objectives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops immigration
reform campaign are:
– To educate the public, especially the Catholic
community, including Catholic public officials,
about church teaching on migration and immigrants;
– To create political will for positive immigration reform;
– To enact legislative and administrative reforms based on
the principles articulated in the pastoral letter;
– To organize Catholic networks to assist qualified immigrants
in obtaining the benefits of the reforms.

* You can support the Irish bishops’: “2005 Supporting Irish Abroad Campaign”
by contacting the IECE at: emigrants@iecon.ie

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