Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics


Schumer touts Irish visa, but King doesn't bite

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) held a telephone conference call Friday to tout his success at beating back a challenge in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday to a special E-3 visa to bring 10,500 Irish workers to the United States each year.

Sen. Charles Grassley (D-Iowa) had filed an amendment to alter the measure, but withdrew it after seeing no support for it on the committee.

Schumer said the visa was needed to fix a glitch in the 1965 Immigration Act that put Irish at a disadvantage.

“Anyone who is on this visa program, and works for three years, can apply for a green card, and because they work in the U.S. and speak English, they have a very good chance of wining legal residence,” he said.

In 2011, federal records show, a total of 1,371 people from Ireland became permanent residents, compared with 33,587 from India.

Asked if he would use this measure to persuade immigration hard-liner Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), Schumer said, “I would hope it would influence him to be for comprehensive immigration reform.”

No way, said King, reached after he landed from a flight from Washington to Long Island.

“Border security. That’s the whole issue to me,” King said.

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Which was the most fevered lunge for self-promotion by a power player?

Sec. of State John Kerry seeking more authority for the administration to fight ISIS. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of “dangerous concessions” if rivals win election. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): “Is there ever a good time to admit our country tortured people?"

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