Thursday 5 December 2019

Taoiseach must tell Trump on St Patrick’s Day that 'Ireland stands for equality' – Dáil told

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
John Downing

John Downing

Irish immigrant support groups in the USA fear President Donald Trump’s statements about immigration will harm them, the Dáil has been told.

Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald said Taoiseach Enda Kenny must deliver a strong message about equality for everyone to the US President during his expected meeting at the White House in Washington on St Patrick’s Day.

Ms McDonald said the Irish immigrant centre in Boston had said they were concerned that the US President’s comments about immigration will stoke up anti-migrant sentiment in the USA. She also urged the Taoiseach to push the case of the 50,000 undocumented Irish people in the USA.

“We need to hear the Taoiseach raise a voice for equal treatment of all irrespective of race, gender, or sexual orientation,” Ms McDonald said. She added that Mr Trump had said he favoured the use of torture in preserving national security.

Replying for the Government, Education Minister Richard Bruton said the Taoiseach will continue to push the case for a remedy for Irish illegal immigrants in the US. He said the country will continue to advocate human rights at all international levels.

“But we must deal with countries whose politics we don’t always agree with,” Mr Bruton said.

Anti-Austerity Alliance People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said rent support payments were far too low to help people rent a home.

He said in all of South Dublin there was only one flat for rent which was within the permitted limit.

Mr Bruton said the Government housing plans were now being implemented and the focus was on increasing housing supply.

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