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Biden says he will 'create a roadmap to citizenship' for undocumented Irish

The Democratic nominee said he will ensure there will be no US-UK trade deal if Brexit puts the Good Friday Agreement at risk.

Image: Nicole Hester

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE Joe Biden said he will “create a roadmap for citizenship” for 11 million undocumented people in the United States – including undocumented Irish citizens. 

In a statement released by his campaign titled ‘Joe Biden, Irish-America and Ireland’, Biden – whose ancestors emigrated from Ireland in the 1800s – said he “rejects” President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and said that he will prioritise legislation to allow 11 million undocumented people to apply for citizenship. 

“[Biden] will prioritize legislation to create a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people who have been strengthening our country for years and preserve the longstanding directive of our immigration system to reunite families and enhance our diversity,” the statement said. 

It is estimated that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 undocumented Irish people living in America.

The statement continued: “[Biden] has shown immigration reform leadership informed by empathy and an understanding of Ireland’s experience – especially the challenge of today’s younger Irish who left Ireland during the Eurozone crash.”

Biden – who has previously made clear his opposition to a hard border – also said he will ensure there will be no US-UK trade deal if Brexit puts the Good Friday Agreement at risk.

Addressing a number of other key issues, Biden said he will support engagement “to advance the Northern Ireland peace process” and “will work closely with Ireland in the UN Security Council”, which Ireland won a seat on in June. 

Biden has previously spoken of his Irish roots. During a visit to Ireland in 2016 he travelled to Mayo and Louth where his ancestors emigrated from during The Great Famine. 

Biden is currently polling ahead of Donald Trump leading up to 3 November. 

“If Biden keeps these not insubstantial leads and the Scranton native prevails in each, he will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States in January,” Law lecturer Larry Donnelly – writing for TheJournal.ie – said this morning. 

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President Trump, meanwhile, held back-to-back rallies in Michigan and Wisconsin yesterday. 

 Trump sought to paint Democrats as “anti-American radicals” and said moderates had “a moral duty” to join the Republican Party.

“The Democrat Party you once knew doesn’t exist,” he said.

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