Belfast Telegraph

Ex-New York mayor Bloomberg hails Kenny for undocumented immigrants plea

Businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has praised Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny for urging Donald Trump to help the US's undocumented immigrants.

During his annual St Patrick's Day visit to Washington on Thursday, Mr Kenny pressed Mr Trump to support the 50,000 Irish living illegally in the States who are seeking a route to secure citizenship.

The discussions drew intense public focus, given the president's hard-line stance on immigration issues.

Mr Bloomberg hosted Mr Kenny at an Ireland-themed event in his company's New York offices on Friday.

He used the St Patrick's Day occasion to congratulate the Taoiseach for lobbying on behalf of the undocumented in the Oval Office.

"It was great to see him raise the issue of undocumented immigrants when he was at the White House yesterday - thank you for that," he said.

"This is a country that has benefited from immigrants. Without immigrants we wouldn't have a country and immigrants from Ireland have played a very important part and a number of different waves of Irish immigrants coming here and really contributing to our society.

"They contribute to our cuisine and to our culture, to our economy and to our wellbeing and happiness, and I think it's fair to say without the Irish, New York City would not be anything as great as it is today.

"America became a global powerhouse because we welcomed immigrants and to remain a global powerhouse we really do in this country have to continue to welcome immigrants and give them a chance to play their part in our country's future.

"And that's really what celebrating St Patrick's Day is all about."

Mr Kenny told the event he hoped progress could be made on the issue with the new US administration.

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