In one of his final acts as Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI) is leading an effort to give thousands of American work visas to Irish citizens.
A total of 10,500 visas under the federal government's E-3 program were originally set aside for applicants from Australia beginning in 2005. In 2017, 5,657 visas were issued to Australian applicants, leaving around 5,000 up for grabs.
Ryan, who is of Irish descent, pushed a law through the House in late November that would grant Irish nationals access to any unclaimed work visas.
The Senate will vote on the bill today. President Donald Trump has not indicated whether or not he supports the bill.
Critics are slamming Ryan for what they view as soaring hypocrisy on immigration policy. Ryan as Speaker has blocked votes to pass the Dream Act, which would give the opportunity for children brought to the United States illegally to obtain permanent residency.
After blocking comprehensive immigration reform for years, Paul Ryan making a special pitch to bring more White peo… https://t.co/YpWvInfMqV— Dan Pfeiffer (@Dan Pfeiffer)1544833998.0
Because he is Irish, Paul Ryan is promoting a bill that could provide Irish nationals with thousands of additional… https://t.co/Rw47FgyGAB— Jamil Smith (@Jamil Smith)1544900578.0
Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” @SpeakerRyan:… https://t.co/V5FwlBJpEU— Ryan Knight 🏳️🌈🗽 (@Ryan Knight 🏳️🌈🗽)1544928603.0
Spineless Paul Ryan couldn’t leave office without one last hypocrisy. #Republicans decry identity politics, so he’… https://t.co/dmimqgLamF— Grant Stern (@Grant Stern)1545049269.0
paul ryan pushing through irish immigrants to get visas while silent about the plight of black and brown immigrants… https://t.co/FCze2I1PgY— One of The Blacks, YAHERDME (@One of The Blacks, YAHERDME)1545054725.0
Meanwhile, thousands of refugees have traipsed through Central America hoping to make it to the United States so that they and their children can avoid persecution and political violence. Instead of welcoming them, Ryan and his Republican Party have responded by ripping families apart and locking kids in cages.
It sure does look like Ryan only wants people who look like him to come to America for a better life.
@HuffPost So if they are white they have no problem fast tracking visas, but if they are brown they steal their chi… https://t.co/ZhW31Vx9KZ— The Mind Unguent (@The Mind Unguent)1545006889.0
@HuffPost Shorter Paul Ryan: It's alright if you're all white.— Perry Brown (@Perry Brown)1545017490.0
@HuffPost Nice Paul Ryan....now you are choosing who gets into America. That is what Trump imagined in his great immigration policy.— Gerri Clyatt (@Gerri Clyatt)1545010603.0
@HuffPost These Irish immigrants aren’t walking thousands of miles to the southern border, they are flying in on ju… https://t.co/rQtbGTCrop— Cecil Sharpe (@Cecil Sharpe)1545040717.0
@HuffPost It seems to me there are a couple thousand people at our border who would like to live here, work and rai… https://t.co/FCVbvP2Sn9— NANA (great grandma) (@NANA (great grandma))1545008500.0
@HuffPost Immigration is good for the US. I just wish Republicans didn’t just support visas for white people from r… https://t.co/qCsU5CQAWA— Andre Mann (@Andre Mann)1545013515.0
@HuffPost But Not To The Poor Kids In The Border. The GOP. Sense GOD Gave a Goat.— Angel Vazquez (@Angel Vazquez)1545006817.0
@HuffPost How low can they go, republicans opening the gates for white immigrants to enter the US and cast illegal votes for their party.— Gary Sanchez (@Gary Sanchez)1545010213.0
The Irish government, unsurprisingly, supports the measure and in return will offer more work visas to Americans and make it easier for Americans to retire in Ireland if they qualify.
“The idea here is that this is going to be reciprocal,” said John Deasy, an Irish special envoy to the United States. “We think it’s important that the flows in the workplace continue between the two countries.”
Ryan has said he one day hopes to become ambassador to Ireland.