Vice President Joe Biden hosted an Irish breakfast this morning attended by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
During the breakfast, Kenny indicated that there were many 50,000 illegal Irish immigrants currently in the United States who “want to be legitimized and “want to contribute legitimately to the United States.”
“We hope that can come about,” Kenny added.
Kenny also reportedly spoke to Democratic senators Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy, and House Speaker John Boehner R-Ohio about immigration reform.
Kenny’s comments may have been inspired by President Obama’s praise for Irish immigrants to the United States during his own St. Patrick’s Day party. The President used the occasion to promote immigration reform.
“Looking out on this room it’s clear just how much America owes to our brothers and sisters across the Atlantic, and how many of us, myself included, wouldn’t be here if it were not for the brave souls who set off for the new world with no earthly idea of what awaited them on the other side,” Obama said. “It’s a reminder of just how many trials the people of Ireland have endured. Hunger, troubles, to the economic challenges of recent years. It’s yet another reason why we need to build an immigration system for the 21st century.”