Kenny says Pence clarified what Trump said on immigrants

Taoiseach says it is ‘politics’ to deal with new US administration

Enda Kenny: “Obviously we now have to have our own connections with a Republican party that controls both the congress and senate, in addition to connections with the American political system in general’’

Enda Kenny: “Obviously we now have to have our own connections with a Republican party that controls both the congress and senate, in addition to connections with the American political system in general’’

 

The Taoiseach has said US vice president-elect Mike Pence explained Donald Trump’s remarks about illegal immigrants in their recent telephone conversation.

Enda Kenny said it was important to acknowledge Mr Pence knew from his own roots, since his ancestors travelled through Ellis Island, about what was involved.

Mr Kenny said he had put it to Mr Pence that there was concern about Irish people who lived in the US, who may be married to an American, paid their social security payments and worked in the interests of the local economy.

“The point he made to me was the comments made by the president-elect were, in the first instance, in respect of border security and that, second, his priority was in connection with the undocumented with criminal records or criminal intent,’’ said the Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny said Ireland needed to work with the US administration “on that spectrum’’.

He said it was “politics’’ to work with the US administration when it was appointed. “We will not lose any of our ethical standards or values in this country. Why should we ?’’

Decisions

Mr Kenny said Ireland stood by its own actions, adding that the new US administration had not taken up office yet and decisions had not been made.

“Obviously we now have to have our own connections with a Republican party that controls both the congress and senate, in addition to connections with the American political system in general.’’