Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Matt Rourke
# Irish in America
Enda believes undocumented Irish with 'minor indiscretions' will not be turfed out by Trump
Trump has said he wants to deport illegal immigrants who have a criminal record.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said he trusts that the Irish undocumented in the US will not be affected by President Donald Trump’s immigration reforms.

Trump has said he wants to deport illegal immigrants who have a criminal record. Today he ordered his new administration to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Taoiseach said there had been an increase in the number of concerned Irish immigrants contacting emigration facilities across America.

“I listened to the president yesterday saying that he has a big heart and if I follow on from what he said before, I trust that in his clarification here the Irish will not be affected by that. It’s an issue I have raised with him and I will raise with him again when I go to the White House.”

Serious crimes 

Kenny said he understood that Trump’s reforms are targeted towards very serious crimes committed by immigrants.

The point made by the vice president about the speech made by the president in Phoenix Arizona was first of all about homeland security and determination about the borders and the second was about those with criminal records, what does that mean?
So, if you have a parking ticket ten years ago in the United States are you likely to be deported because of that? These are the issues of concern to Irish people who are undocumented…
I do hope that given the extraordinary contribution people make in terms of social security employment opportunities, contributing to American society that the clarification is about serious, serious indiscretions.

pjimage (18)

Kenny said that following previous discussion with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, he is hopeful that minor issues like parking tickets will not be considered grounds for people to be deported.

The Taoiseach noted the comments made by Senator Billy Lawless, who said Trump is going after more “hardened criminals”.

The senator who represents the Irish abroad, said:

“I am not sure they are looking for people who have run traffic lights or broken tail-lights or speeding.”

Kenny said the Chicago-based senator’s comments give somewhat of a “clearer view” on the matter.

Irish contribution to America 

Many are married, many contribute very strongly to the American economy, their families are there. I would hope that when the clarification comes, that very minor indiscretions are not issues that would warrant drastic action being taken.

I’ve made that very clear to the president and to the vice president and given my information about Irish people who are undocumented. I’m working with the emigrant authorities in the States and I hope to hear from them soon.

In an interview, Trump said he believed some methods of torture work.

When Kenny was asked if had any misgivings about some of the things Trump had said, he replied:

I can’t condone the breach of human rights or regimes of torture in any country around the globe. But obviously I don’t speak for the American President. As I say, I am focussed on working with the administration in the best interest of our two countries.

Trump’s wall 

The Taoiseach was also asked to comment on what he thought of Trump’s follow through on his plans to build a wall along the border of Mexico, in which he replied:

There was a fence there for about a third of it already. Obviously the president has signed his executive order, as he said he would.

He would not be drawn further on his personal thoughts on Trump’s actions.

People sometimes expect you to take a particular view about any administration, but the election is over, the people have spoken, the President is installed and the administration is working, and it is my responsibility here, as head of government, to have our officials work with the American administration in the interests of our people, who are employed in very significant numbers across all 50 states, and I am working on that basis.

St Patrick’s Day in the White House 

This week, Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed that an invite to attend the White House on St Patrick’s Day would be extended to Enda Kenny this week.

The Taoiseach said he was glad the tradition of the St Patrick’s Day would continue.

I think that is a big signal about the relationship that we have had with the United States over the past two and a half centuries, economically, socially, politically  and in so many other ways.

Will the Taoiseach be returning the favour and inviting the US president to Ireland any time soon? It doesn’t look like it.

I am not going to get ahead of myself here. I am looking forward to meeting with the president and vice president, I think we have lots of things to talk about…
When I spoke to him on the telephone, he said he said he owned a nice piece of real estate in Ireland but he wasn’t sure when he would be able to see it again, at least for the foreseeable future.

Read: Donald Trump is getting serious about his border wall. Could it actually happen?>

Read: May determined to stick to her Brexit timetable as she publishes Article 50 bill>

Your Voice
Readers Comments