As US President Donald Trump prepares to announce his cabinet picks, the prospect of a possible ban on citizens of the six countries on his “travel ban” is a looming threat to Irish real estate.
The United States is one of the countries which has banned people from six Muslim-majority countries and the US Supreme Court has upheld that decision.
While some US politicians, including President Trump himself, have suggested that this could be an issue in the run-up to the US presidential election in November, there is a risk that the ban could be put to an end at the ballot box.
If it is a ban that becomes law, the issue could be moot, said Tom McAllister, managing director of Irish Real Estate Services.
While Mr McAllisters firm has a presence in the UK and Ireland, it is not one that he would be concerned about in the event of such a move.
“The reality is that there is no such thing as a US visa,” he said.
“The visa issue is completely separate to the visa issue.”
He said the main reason the US has not yet taken action against its citizens is the fear that they might use the ban as a political football.
“It’s not that the US is anti-immigration.
There are lots of people here who are interested in the economy and in jobs and so on,” he explained.”
There’s a perception in the country that if you get a visa, you’re allowed to come in and that is something that is completely unfounded.”
In fact, it has been suggested that Ireland’s visa system could be used to stop Americans from getting into the country in the future.
“I think there’s a good chance that a US ban will be in place in the next few years,” said Mr Mcallister.
“But we’re not going to do that.
We’re not putting a stop to that, and we’re certainly not trying to put a stop on anyone coming to Ireland.”
Real estate agents in Ireland are also in a position to help the US Government in any way that they can, but are likely to have little to no influence on it.
“We don’t have a say in how a US president would choose the next person to be the Secretary of State,” said Michael O’Brien, head of real estate at US-based firm A/S Real Estate Agents.
“But it is our job to make sure that our clients are protected.”
While it may be hard for American real estate professionals to influence the outcome of the presidential election, there are signs that they may have a role to play.
As part of a “pact of friendship”, US Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, has invited the US President to visit Ireland during his upcoming visit to the country.
He said he had received a request to come to Ireland to speak to members of the Irish community about the impact of Trump’s election on the economy.
“So we’re going to bring a lot of the top executives to Dublin, and I want to invite them to come,” he told the Irish Independent newspaper.
“As an American, I’m looking forward to seeing the jobs, the businesses that are created and the jobs that are sustained in Ireland.”
Mr McAllis said that it was up to the Irish Government to take action if the US went ahead with its travel ban.
“What we’re really looking to see is how much of the US political establishment is willing to back the Irish government,” he added.
“And if the Irish politicians and the Irish people are willing to take on the Trump administration and take a stance against it, then the real estate industry will be able to see a big increase in investment and jobs.”
The Irish government will be seeking advice from the US embassy in Dublin, before deciding whether to allow Mr Trump to visit.