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Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Bishop welcomes debate on undocumented Irish in America
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¬†The Bishop of Derry, Dr Sťamus Hegarty, Chair of the Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants (IECE), has welcomed a debate in the DŠil on the subject of the Irish Undocumented in the United States. Bishop Hegarty said yesterday: "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". 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 Source: Irish Catholic Media Office
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