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Obama to tackle illegal immigrants from Ireland

By Noel McAdam

Published 01/04/2009

The majority of “undocumented Irish” young people living illegally in America come from Fermanagh and Tyrone, the Assembly had been told.

But new President Barack Obama intends to tackle the problem, according to Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Reporting on his recent week-long trip to the US, Mr McGuinness said the issue came up constantly.

There is an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 illegal Irish in the US, with the majority coming from Fermanagh and Tyrone.

Mr McGuinness said: “The issue of the undocumented Irish came up consistently and persistently at many of the engagements in which we were involved.

“There is no doubt that it is a matter with which the new Administration will grapple.

“It is something that we would like to see resolved, because of the obvious pain and difficulty that it imposes, not just on people in the United States — whether from Derry, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Belfast, Dublin, Mayo or Kerry — but also because family difficulties occur, such as people dying,” the deputy First Minister added.

“Hopefully, the new Administration will find a solution sooner rather than later.”

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