Monday, October 13, 2008

Irish illegals issue more urgent than ever - O'Dowd

(From the Irish Times, October 11, 2008) DEAGLAN DE BREADUN, Political Correspondent

SIGNIFICANT ILLEGAL immigration of Irish people to the US has begun again, making it even more critical that a long-term solution be found to the problem, founder-member of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform Niall O'Dowd said last night.

Speaking in Dún Chaoin, Co Kerry, at the opening of the Blasket Island Foundation seminar on emigration, he said: "The Irish immigrant centres all over the US are reporting a significant surge . . . and the anecdotal evidence in Irish neighbourhoods is backing that up. We are particularly seeing the traditional type of Irish emigrant - construction workers, waitresses - who are the first to experience the effects of the Irish economic downturn.

"We already have tens of thousands of undocumented whom we are seeking to help," he added.
Mr O'Dowd said immigration reform was a divisive issue and had taken a back seat in the US election. "Given the current economic emergency it is hard to see McCain or Obama giving the issue of immigration reform any major priority if elected," he said.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This is just the beginning....

"Speaking on RTÉ radio last week, Louisburgh native, Ciarán Staunton, who is Deputy Chairperson of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) in America, said Senator McCain had reiterated his interest in resolving the issue of the undocumented in a meeting with the ILIR, at which he said that, if elected, his number one priority during his first year would be to get immigration reform.
“We’ve had great access to Senator McCain,” Mr Staunton said. “Every event we’ve invited him to over the past two years, both in Washington and in the Bronx, he has shown up at. I spent half an hour talking with him about the issue of the undocumented Irish and other Irish-American issues and he didn’t need notes or staff. He gets the issue, which is in contrast to his opponent. We have, as of yet, been unable to get Barack Obama to turn up to any of our events.”
Ciarán Staunton added that the ILIR do not endorse candidates, ‘but as of now there is certainly only one who has shown an interest’."