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Reform rises

And on St. Patrick's evening at the White House, President Obama pledged his administration's support for the reform effort stating, "my own commitment to comprehensive immigration reform remains unwavering."

Just a few feet away, standing directly in front of the presidential lectern, was Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform president Ciaran Staunton, who later warmly welcomed the president's words.

Schumer and Graham's Post piece followed a meeting both had with President Obama.

"We expressed our belief that America's security and economic well-being depend on enacting sensible immigration policies," the senators wrote.

And the continued: Our plan has four pillars: requiring biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization for those already here."

That latter category includes thousands of undocumented Irish.

The senators further stated: "For the 11 million immigrants already in this country illegally, we would provide a tough but fair path forward.

In a statement reacting to the Schumer/Graham text, President Obama said a critical next step would be to translate their framework into a legislative proposal, and for Congress to act at the earliest possible opportunity.

"I congratulate Senators Schumer and Graham for their leadership, and pledge to do everything in my power to forge a bipartisan consensus this year on this important issue so we can continue to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform," the president said.

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