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Irish PM meets with Obama, pushes U.S. immigration reform

- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2014

Three days before St. Patrick's Day, President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden welcomed the prime minister of Ireland to Washington.

On Friday morning, Mr. Biden hosted Taoiseach Enda Kenny for a breakfast at the vice president's home. Other officials, including Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Sens. Tom Carper and Patrick Leahy and Georgetown University President Leo O'Donovan, also attended.

During his brief remarks, Mr. Kenny expressed support for the administration's immigration reform efforts.

"We've got 50,000 (immigrants) here in America, undocumented. And what we want is a process of legalization, where they pay their taxes, pay their way, raise their families, travel home and travel back," he said, adding that Irish immigrants have "suffered disproportionately" under the existing system.

After the breakfast, Mr. Obama and Mr. Kenny met at the White House and discussed the violence in Ukraine, immigration reform and other issues.

Mr. Obama also said all stakeholders must continue working to bring lasting peace to Northern Ireland.

"We're urging the parties to continue to work and negotiate," Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden and Mr. Kenny also attended a St. Patrick's Day lunch at the Capitol on Friday afternoon.

Later in the day, Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will host a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House.

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