Special visa for the Irish?

The Irish Echo is making a case for special US immigrant visas for residents of Ireland. In a Dec. 14 editorial, the paper argues that the Irish have watched from the sidelines since the 1960s, as America turned to other nations to boost diversity. The paper says many undocumented Irish Americans did not get relief until the Donnelly and Morrison visa programs in the 1980s.

The editors write:

But the bigger picture for the Irish has remained bleak. Under current laws, the Irish are largely confined to non-immigrant working visas and a smattering of diversity lottery green cards.

The paper argues that while:

the bill will primarily benefit would-be immigrants from India and China with high level technology skills, it will eliminate limits on the number of green cards based on employment available annually to each of these countries. The bill also includes a measure that will more than double the green cards based on family ties available for Mexicans and Filipinos, the two national groups facing the longest backlogs on the family side of the legal immigration admission system.

The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform has been focused on securing an E3 visa for Ireland that would be issued to a specified number of people annually. It would allow family members to accompany the primary visa holder, and provide a path to citizenship. After Senator Charles Schumer promised to bring the Irish E3 to the Senate floor, The Irish Echo responded that:

Things may be looking up.

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