Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP has called on the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, to highlight to US President Barack Obama, the issue of the undocumented Irish living in the United States.

President Obama will be arriving in Brussels tonight for the EU and NATO summits taking place tomorrow and will meet with President Barroso of the European Commission and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council on his first official visit to the EU institutions.

Earlier this week, Mr Gallagher wrote to President Barroso, in which he outlined the problem of the undocumented; something which is now estimated to affect over 50,000 Irish people living in the U.S.

Mr Gallagher stated today “I have urged President Barroso to emphasise the importance of the Immigration Reform Bill in the U.S, not just for Irish but all European citizens, and to encourage President Obama to continue to champion the cause of the undocumented immigrants in America.”

Pat the Cope continued “The undocumented Irish are prevented from travelling home to Ireland for important family occasions or contributing fully to US society and its economy. It is vitally important that every effort is made to encourage immigration reform in the US and I strongly encourage President Barroso to raise this issue at the EU-US Summit on behalf of EU and Irish citizens.”