Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan is pushing new legislation that would increase the number of immigrants who come to the United States, as long as they are Irish.
Ryan, whose relatives fled the country in 1851, got the bill passed in the House on November 28, and it is expected to clear the Senate possibly as soon as Monday. One Republican senator is currently blocking the bill, according to a GOP aide who spoke with Politico.
The bill would allow Irish nationals access to the E-3 visa, which is currently only available to Australians in “specialty occupations” requiring a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. According to the legislation, any E-3 visas that are not used by Australian nationals would be made available to Irish professionals. In exchange, Ireland would allow extra work visas for Americans and let retiring Americans relocate there.
It’s just one more example of Republican hypocrisy. Ryan wants to expand immigration for white people, while he has done nothing to expand immigration for Latin American nations, even as America faces a crisis at its border with asylum seekers and overflowing migrant detention centers. It’s also self-serving: Ryan has expressed interest in becoming U.S. ambassador to Ireland.
Meanwhile, predictably, conservative website Breitbart has reacted negatively to Ryan’s efforts, calling it “amnesty to Irish illegals” and claiming it will “outsource many thousands of U.S. college graduate jobs to Irish graduates.”
President Donald Trump has not commented on the bill, but has made moves to limit immigration, from “metering” (limiting) the number of asylum-seekers who can enter the U.S. to potentially not allowing immigrants who perform manual labor and receive government assistance to renew their work visa, policies that target non-white immigrants in particular.