'Target Pence to help illegal Irish in US'
Published 12/11/2016 | 02:30
Irish-American Seanad member Billy Lawless says the Government should target vice-president-elect Mike Pence as an ally to help undocumented Irish in the US.
The Chicago businessman says Mr Pence has "a great affinity for Ireland" and is one of "few Republican congressman to advocate for common sense immigration reform". Mr Lawless called on Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan to "do all that he can to engage him" on the issue of the 50,000 undocumented Irish.
Mr Pence's grandparents are from Sligo and Clare. As a congressmen, the Indiana governor worked on unsuccessful efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Mr Lawless, who was appointed to the Seanad by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, voted for Hillary Clinton. He said he was "in shock" when Donald Trump won.
He said Mr Trump's rhetoric has been "terrible towards immigrants" and campaigners on the matter face a "tough battle".