Outgoing Republican House speaker Paul Ryan is being accused of hypocrisy and nepotism, for championing Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies yet pushing to loosen visa requirements for migrants from his family’s homeland.
As one of his last acts as leader of the House of Representatives, Ryan managed to squeeze through a bill on November 28, introducing immigration privileges for the Irish. If passed, the legislation would allow them to be granted the E-3 specialty occupation working visa, which only citizens of Australia are eligible for. Dublin is expected to reciprocate with similar measures, as well as easing restrictions for US citizens wishing to retire in Ireland.
Ryan, whose ancestors fled Ireland in the middle of the 19th century, and who earlier this year noted that he would like to become the US ambassador to Dublin, has faced a barrage of criticism for this selective immigration policy approach.
The 48-year-old Wisconsin native has been accused of nepotism and supporting ‘white’ immigration only, while not doing enough to defend the refugees from other nations, in particular Central Americans who are facing a mounting crisis at the US’s southern border. Social justice podcast ‘Irish Stand’ even called Ryan’s actions an “insult” to his own heritage.
“Pushing white #Irish immigrants through, while detaining hundreds of people at America’s border with Mexico? The hypocrisy of this administration is shameful,” another tweet reads.
Ryan got a portion of criticism from conservatives alike, with some expressing concerns that the “cheap” young immigrant labor would slash the salaries of American graduates.