Friday, November 16, 2007

We love Michael Ring!

The people of Mayo are lucky to have Michael Ring in their corner. The TD went on the 1 o'clock news today on RTE to take on this woman called Trina Vargo who has come out against the Irish undocumented. (Click here to see the piece)

Interestingly, Mr Ring says that not only is her organization, the US-Ireland Alliance, part-funded by the Irish taxpayer, she also supported the Irish undocumented last year.

If you are as incensed by this woman as we are, please email the letters editor of the Irish Times. If you're in the US, tell them how long you've been there. If you've a friend or family in the US, tell them how long they've been away. the email address is If you need some inspiration, look at the great post here from Susan.

This is pure shite, this stuff about jobs for everyone in Ireland. If Ms Vargo took her head out of her **** she might take a look at our Irish undocumented and then she might take a look at the counties that they came from. There's feck all jobs in some places - as she would know if she actually went to Philadelphia, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale and actually MET some real Irish immigrants.


Anonymous said...

Ms. Vargo wrote "The majority of those attending the rallies for the
illegal Irish immigrants are young people, people who came to the
United States when jobs were plentiful at home." For some of us jobs had nothing to do with it. Personally, I came over to the States to get away from the troubles in Northern Ireland which were also plentiful. It's not about the jobs Ms. Vargo. I moved to the United States during a troubling time in Ireland, put down roots and made my life here. It's not as easy as saying There are jobs for us in Ireland, let's just rearrange our lives, leave our loved ones behind and move back.

Lawrence Donnelly said...

I know Trina Vargo. She is a good person who played an instrumental role in the northern peace process and is sincerely interested in Ireland's future. But she is dead wrong on this one. Below is a letter I wrote to the Irish Times this morning.

Dear Sir/Madam:

I read with interest Trina Vargo’s piece in Friday’s Irish Times arguing against a “special deal” for the tens of thousands of undocumented Irish in the United States. While I am a great admirer of hers and her organisation, the US-Ireland Alliance, I vigorously disagree with her view. Ms. Vargo contends that efforts to aid the undocumented Irish are tantamount to seeking “preferential treatment.” This may be so, but the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform already tried joining forces with the wider immigration lobby. These efforts were to no avail. Now, the choice for Irish and Irish-American advocates and politicians is either to make a case specifically for the undocumented Irish or to do nothing.

In Boston, my home city, I count many undocumented Irish among my friends. Some have been living and working in the United States for many years. They have added tremendously to my city’s cultural and social fabric. They love Ireland, but they love their lives and livelihoods in the United States too. I cannot and will not turn my back on them. And I expect Irish and Irish-American politicians to do their utmost to better their situation.

Nearly twenty years ago, an Irish-American politician who also happens to be my uncle, Congressman Brian Donnelly, carved out a “special deal” for the undocumented Irish: the “Donnelly Visa.” For approximately 16,000 visa recipients and their families, Brian Donnelly was a champion. All these years later, in a restrictive and intimidating post-9/11 Fortress America, I hope that the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will eventually deliver today’s undocumented Irish theirs.


Lawrence Donnelly
Faculty of Law
National University of Ireland, Galway
Galway, Ireland

direct telephone: ++ 353 (0)91 495372

web address:

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that there is at least 1 TD on our side. I have been living in the US undocumented for 13 years. I also have 2 undocumented children. One is going to college next year and although she attends 1 of the best high schools in NY her options for college will be diminished because of her status, even if she does go to college what are her chances of getting a good job when she leaves if she remains undocumented. She will be working in a menial job like so many of the other smart college educated Irish here.

I am originaly from Co Louth and my family and myself have been calling Dermort Ahern everyday for 2 years or so. I actually met him when he came to NY once and he told me he was going to do his best to sort this problem out. Well if this is his best it leaves a lot to be desired. I have written a letter to the Times also.

Keep up the good work and hope to see you all soon when I get my green card.

Anonymous said...

Good Man Micheal Ring,
Hope everyone try's & does there bit...

Anonymous said...

Ms Vargo is part funded by the Irish government, her events are paid for by Enterprise Ireland, Tourism Ireland, and culture Ireland. She pulls a huge salary... and them gets on Irish radio taking about 'your ministers'. She can put on the charm for these Ministers when she wants to. So much so that she has Irish civil servants terrorise if they don't write the checks - she will call the minister. I hope the Ministers now know the monster they have created!

Anonymous said...

Email Ms Vargo directly.. tell her what you think....she says all she is getting is emails of support.. lets send her a few that don't agree.. lets give her some emails to read!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you to Michael Ring from an immigrant living in Boston for the past 6 years.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Michael Ring for taking on Ms. Vargo and her unknowledgable comments about the irish undocumented in the US. I have been here over 7 years, because to be honest the celtic tiger that she claims to be rampant in ireland did not seem to be running around my village in the west of Ireland when i left and like so many others here, i came here, made a life for myself, made many friends and resigned to make New York my home. I would love to know if Ms. Vargo has any issues accepting her paycheck every month from the irish "pig" taxpayers. The Austrailians got their visas as a trade agreement according to Ms. Vargo, i wonder then would she approve of the irish government requesting visas on behalf of the irish as payment for the US War Planes landing in shannon every few hours for the past 5 years????

MIKE said...

This is what Trina Vargo says the aim of her organisation is "The US-Ireland Alliance aim is to exploit the latent influence of the Irish constituency in the United States. ...."
SHE SHOULD CHANGE THAT TO UNDERMINE THE INFLUENCE of the Irish American Constituency. To help her in work at describing our undocumented as 'PIGS' . SHE HAS RECEIVED ALMOST 40 MILLION DOLLARS FROM THE IRISH GOVERNMENT IN THE PAST 10 YEARS. NICE WORK IF YOU CAN FIND IT.That is the taxes that our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters pay to Bertie. Trina works so hard at educating Americans about us 'PIGS' that she only takes $2,300. per week plus expenses. " SHURE THAT PEANUTS WHEN YOU HANH OUT AT THE k CLUB"

Anonymous said...

I am just after reading Ms. Vargos piece in the Times and listened to the RTE interview with her and Michael Ring. First of all, thanks to Michael Ring for standing up for us. WE NEED IT. I am originally from Galway and spent my first two years (of 17 years) in the US as an illegal. I was very fortunate at the time to have luck and Morrisson Visa Program underway at the time because I felt hopeless here. I had a couple of choices of work and they were Nanny, Waitress or cleaning. This is not something anyone aspires to be.

I think Ms. Vargo needs to do much better research before she makes such a statement. I have fully supported Niall from ILIR and attended his very first meeting and went down to DC the first year in support of my friends that are not as fortunate as I.

Let's clear a couple of things up. The young Irish that are out here rallying are out because they are not as fearful of having to uproot themselves and start over again. They can, they are young and have much less to loose than the ones that have been here for a very long time much like myself but without proper documentation. Second, the ones that have set down their roots here are too afraid to attend some of these rallies because they don't want to get caught. Rumors spread like wildfire here amoung the Irish and clearly displays the sense of nervousness amoung them. When we hear that an Irish bartender was picked up by immigration, we know it within HOURS. Everyone gets nervous and rightly so.

Third, the Irish are NOT looking for specail treatment and yes of course we want to have the same right as the Mexicans and everyone else. But what my fellow Irish citizens are trying to look at another angle in how to accomplish this. If we all accepted defeat on the first round, I wouldn't be writing this letter. We are also not stopping or discouraging other countries from looking at alternatives. That's what is called negotiation. That's how businesses are successful. So it infuriates me when on one hand Ms. Vargo states that she supports the irish but not by giving special treatment. This is not an accurate statement to make. DO YOUR RESEARCH.

We all know the bill was not accepted for political popularity and timing and why not leave it until the next party comes in to deal with. We have to suffer the consequences of that and accept that.

The immigration system is seriously flawed in this country and one of the few issues that brought light on the matter was the fact that there were two green cards given to two of the people that were responsible for September 11th. They received these green cards after they completed their suicide mission and it was brought to light by a local newspaper reporter. An embarrassing issue you have to admit. The other huge issue was that people in the DMV were selling drivers licenses and that also became a big scandal and yet another embarassment for the US government.

Let's not attack the Irish for looking for alternatives to address a major immigration issue that we are faced with in the US today. We should not have to wait until the next party comes into power. As we all well know, this is not something that can be turned around overnight. An immigration bill will take time and many comprimises before there is one in place that will be accepted. (We are looking at years) I have many friends that live here and love it here and whether you like it or not, this is their home and cannot afford the luxury of waiting several years. It controls their lives. For example, I have a friend that risks driving her children to school everyday because she no longer has a license and lives in fear of a tail light being out and getting pulled over, or someone else runs into her. She has to uproot her american children and start over. It's easy to say go back to Ireland but when you have lived here for so long, it's like going to a new country to start out again.

Additionally, I know many Irish here that have their own businesses and pay takes under the corporation and others that pay taxes. There was an interview with an immigration representative last year and I cannot quote him word for word but basically he said that they don't really check with the INS and don't care who's paying. So this makes one think, if they really wanted to address the immigration issue, lets pull those records and there are many thousands doing the same (NOT ONLY IRISH). Don't say this is not how it works because the reality is, these are not the people they want out of this country. I also understand with politics that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't and I take that into consideration while writing this.

Let the Irish TD's work for their citizens the way the US claims to work for theirs and have accurate information before stating that most of the Irish undocumented are in their 20's. I don't recommend that Ms. Vargo come to NY, Philly or Boston to see for herself because Guess What? People would go into hiding. They don't want to ruffle feathers and I don't blame them. I would hate to be in their shoes and because I am a US Citizen now, I think it's only fair that I publically speak up for the less fortunate.

Galwegian living in the US.

mike said...

Trina vargo is being Financed by the Irish Government. Has any minister, Ambassador, or other Government official condemned her PIG quote. Not that I have heard. If someone from one of the Emerald Isle, or pastrol centers said anything like that , Dermot Ahern would be blasting it from a moral high.On that subject, the center, I have mentioned above get about $200,00 per year from the Irish Gov. for helping thousands of Irish citizens.
Trina Vargo gets $20,000,000 for helping herself and attacking Irish citizens.