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Minister Flanagan to meet Irish community groups in New York

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., will tomorrow [Sunday 28 September] meet Irish community workers in New York who provide support and advice to newly-arrived immigrants and older members of the Irish community.

Minister Flanagan will visit the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in Bronx, New York, and the Aisling Community Center in nearby Yonkers.

Earlier this week he met Irish community groups to discuss immigration and welfare issues. The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, New York GAA Representatives and the Ancient Order of Hibernians shared their views on potential solutions to the problems faced by the undocumented Irish in the US.

On Tuesday, Minister Flanagan will raise their concerns and seek an assessment of White House plans for immigration reform, when he meets President Obama’s Immigration Advisor, Cecilia Munoz, in Washington DC.

Speaking ahead of his visit to the Emerald Isle Immigration Center and Aisling Community Center, Minister Flanagan said:

“The welfare of our citizens abroad is a key concern of the Government. I’m delighted to see that the funding which my Department provides through our Emigrant Support Programme is helping to provide frontline services to elderly and disadvantaged members of our diaspora.

“I am deeply appreciative of the contribution made by these centres to the welfare of the Irish community in New York, and in particular, for the help they provide to the most vulnerable.”
In addition to services for the vulnerable, both centres also offer advice on employment issues, legal rights, migration and citizenship affairs and assist new arrivals to adjust to life abroad. The centres will receive a combined total of over €263,000 in 2014, bringing to €2.6 million the funding they have received since 2003.
Minister Flanagan said: “The Government’s commitment to our communities abroad remains strong, and I will work hard to ensure continued funding, so centres such as these can maintain the excellent level of service for which they are renowned.”
Press Office
27 September 2014
Note to Editors:
  • Total Emigrant Support Programme funding disbursed to US based organisations for the period 2003 to 2013 amounts to over €20m or approximately $26.5m.