The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform

I tuned into an interesting debate on the Shaun Doherty Show today, discussing the position of the “undocumented” Irish in America. One caller, from Donegal now living in Boston, detailed how her life in America, without a Green Card, has changed drastically since the tightening of the security-net in America after 9/11.

This is a huge issue which effects members most families in Donegal, and has done for generations. It also raises important questions for those of us here in modern Ireland; we call for greater rights for undocumented (or Illegal, if that’s what you want to call them) workers in America, while the tensions between Irish and immigrant workers here in Ireland continue to deepen.

As part of the campaign in support of the McCain/Kennedy Bill, which seeks to regularise the circumstances of undocumented Irish in America, an organisation called The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform is organising a large rally in Washington on March 8th.

Cllr Dessie Larkin and I hope to meet with representatives of this group when we travel to the USA in March, for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Philadelphia and New York. The support of public representatives in Ireland for this campaign is vital; both to help the Irish in America, and to learn important lessons for the future of Ireland from the experiences of the USA.

3 thoughts on “The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform

  1. Damien,

    Thank you for your support of the undocumented Irish in the New York and the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.

    I am undocumented and living in the Bronx. I was listening to the Shaun Doherty show here in the states over the internet one day and heard some negative calls about Irish elected officials coming to the U.S. for St. Patrick’s Day. When I emailed to support the officials, Shaun invited me on the show the next day (3/14).

    I was disappointed by some of the negative calls criticizing Irish elected officials supporting our cause. Perhaps those callers are not aware that you represent people like my mother who worries every day about her two daughters who she has not seen them in her home for near seven years.

    Support from our elected representatives at home (especially Donegal) is very welcome and essential. Please continue your support, especially while the U.S Senate debates immigration reform.

    We seek an opportunity to legalize our status and be free to travel home to visit our families and loved ones.

    Thank you, Damien. Good luck.

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