Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Welcome to the 33rd County!

Hi there. This is the first posting from the friends and families of the undocumented here in Ireland. We've put this together in a hurry because we feel that time is running out. The time is now, An Taoiseach. We need your help badly on this.


BÁC Cailín said...

Thank you Friends and Families for all your hard work on our behalf. All of us here in the US are very grateful and proud of the amazing work you are all doing in Ireland. Please keep it up and thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Great website ladies, the "forgotten about" undocumented Irish need your support over here! Keep the pressure on with the Irish Government as we fight the battle over here in the U.S. Slainte.

Lisa Handley
Florida Delegate
Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform

Burke's votary said...

I am an American who worked from 1987 through the passage of the 1990 Immigration Act on behalf of Irish immigrants who were here as "illegal aliens." If the term seems harsh, I must say that I prefer it to the mealy-mouthed euphemism "undocumented immigrants."

I remember meeting with "a liberal leader of the Irish community, New York City Division, (enlightened, rational, humane and tolerant subchapter) who stressed that he could not support us if even a single visa was re-allocated to the Irish from the several hundred thousand then (now a million plus) going each year to Asians and Latin Americans. The definition of a liberal is a person who will not fight for his own side.

At the time the Irish had zip, zero, nada, rien, goose egg, zilch visas except for the odd traveler who married an American.

We had to add our visas on top of theirs, he offered.

The IIRM succeeded in helping several thousand Irish get visas for a couple of years and a couple of million other kinds of folks over the past seventeen years. I feel a tinge of sadness to the few 40+ folks who didn’t go back and are still illegal here with kids in high school.

We tried. Too many of your green cards were taken by twenty-something types here on a lark circa 1991-92.

We in the IIRM were seeking a permanent re-allocation that would have given a permanent share of the visa pool to the Irish and obviously to the other seed countries that were dominant in earlier American History. We were not seeking to add to the overall total, merely to get a share, a small annual share.

In many ways the Celtic Tiger has made that approach moot, and the rest of Europe seems content to let this generation be the last.

In any event that approach I was informed by a liberal congressional staffer, was inherently racist, or was it fascist?

Now the world has changed!

In the 1990's the march of illegal immigrants from here there and everywhere became an avalanche. It created a haystack in which a few terrorist pins were able to hide with their myriad drivers' licenses and their voter registration cards. The response of the current administration was to outdo its predecessor in neglecting American jobs and American security.

I met an old IIRM friend about a year ago. He said, "It's not appropriate to speak of immigration any more; the "in" word now is migration as in temporary migrants."

That spells a great difficulty for the Irish, I think. Americans of Irish descent were quite instrumental in the achievement of what limited success we had in 1990.

If only we had the internet then, we would have been dyno-mite! But I digress. As it happened we did quite well, without ever having more than a few dimes to rub together.

The then Speaker of the House said that there were lots of immigrant lobbies, most supported by foundations that made a lot of noise on the Hill, but only one, the Irish, actually had grassroots support across the country. We produced letters in Omaha, Nebraska and in San Antonio, Texas and interestingly enough to Speaker Foley in Spokane, Washington. They were from real live American voters. We did not produce Astroturf but real people at the grassroots of America. We did ‘flyover’ country as well as the coastal enclaves and Chicago.

It will be very hard to enlist support for a temporary worker program for the Irish, or anyone, now. It is a hard, hard sell.

Help someone come to the USA so he or she can compete with your kids for a job, and help the multinationals hold wages down.

The business community read the "Yuppie Neocon community" those tired and muddled cliché-mongers yearning to make money, they will be enthusiastic, of course, but the vast majority of Americans spoke last summer.

They don’t want comprehensive immigration reform. If you give illegal aliens visas they will not do the work Americans won’t do. They will be legal. They’ll leave that work for the new illegal aliens who will be sure to join the party in the wake of “comprehensive reform” so that they can take part in the next amnesty; I mean the next comprehensive immigration reform.

Soon we will be asking new arrivals how many dollars it will take to buy a Euro.