Before he leaves office in January, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wants to give Irish citizens access to thousands of unused U.S. work visas.
Under the E-3 program, a total of 10,500 visas are allotted exclusively to Australia, but with new legislation pushed by Ryan, Irish nationals would have access to any that are unused.
Critics are not taking kindly to the outgoing speaker’s gesture toward people from a single, relatively wealthy European nation while migrants in more dire circumstances ― refugees, asylum-seekers and young children ― are being forcibly kept out of the country, detained and deported.
After blocking comprehensive immigration reform for years, Paul Ryan making a special pitch to bring more White people to America on the way out the door is so fucking perfect that I can’t stand it https://t.co/ekhYhDkcXA
– Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) December 15, 2018
Because he is Irish, Paul Ryan is promoting a bill that could provide Irish nationals with thousands of additional work visas each year. I’d love to see this included in the next op-ed from a white writer lamenting “identity politics,” but I know better. https://t.co/IeWbswUFeb
– Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) December 15, 2018
Hi @SpeakerRyan, after spending years of your useless career blocking comprehensive immigration reform, you chose to end it by pushing for visas for some more white people.
You left DC as one of the worst Speakers in history, a coward, a complete fraud and an ever worse being.🖕
– Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) December 15, 2018
Ryan himself has blocked efforts to pass the Dream Act, which would provide a path toward permanent residency for many young people who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children and grew up here.
The outgoing speaker, whose ancestors came to America from Ireland to escape famine in the 1850s, has always had a soft spot for the country. He even said he hopes to one day become to U.S. ambassador to Ireland.
The Irish government is backing the bill, according to documents obtained by Politico. As part of a deal, Ireland would expand academic exchange programs and make is easier for qualifying Americans to retire in the European Union nation.
Ryan’s Ireland visa legislation passed the House easily on Nov. 28 and is up for a Senate vote next week.