Enda Kenny set to meet US President Donald Trump
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 17, 2017,
Mar 17, 2017, 0:40
Turning to the president, the Taoiseach said: "We want to protect this peace process and I know you are going to work with us in that context also".
Mr Kenny said the visit will happen "during the course of his presidency" adding, "he will be there".
"On this day when we remember St Patrick, himself an immigrant twice over to our shores, I urge you to look sympathetically at this issue", he said, noting that many of them came to the U.S. "decades ago, in a different era, and have been caught in limbo without any path to regularise their status".
About 50,000 Irish citizens are believed to be living illegally in the USA, and Kenny and other Irish leaders have previously called for a way to allow them to stay in the country legally.
"The people of Ireland and the people of the United States have stuck together through good times and bad times", he said.
Mick Barry TD said "We want to send a clear message to Donald Trump that he will be met with huge protests of young people, women and migrants who oppose his policies".
Returning to the topic of immigration later in his remarks at, Kenny reminded Trump that 2,000 of the nation's 4,000 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients are Irish Americans.
Trump supported the British vote to leave the 28-country bloc, saying earlier this year that it would "end up being a great thing".
Enda Kenny has firmly ruled out apologising to Donald Trump for calling his language "racist and dangerous". We are opposed to his divisive, nationalist, protectionist approach to politics and would protest against any future visit.
Kenny was the first European Union politician to meet with Trump after the British prime minister, Theresa May.
There were lighter moments during the lunch, which was held before the Taoiseach's traditional presentation of a bowl of shamrock to the president back at the White House. On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Trump.