Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Minister to discuss undocumented in Washington

The Irish Times (

Martin to discuss illegal Irish in US

Wed, Oct 14, 2009

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin has this morning begun a four-day visit to the United States.

The Minister’s is in Washington this morning where he is due to deliver a keynote speech to the European Institute entitled “Equipping the EU for global challenges: an Irish view”.

Minister Martin will then travel to Capitol Hill where he will meet senior members of Congress including senators John McCain, Chris Dodd, Paul Kirk, Lindsey Graham, Bob Casey, Jeanne Shaheen and Congressman Richie Neal, chairman of the Friends of Ireland. Minister Martin will brief the senators on the outcome of the Lisbon referendum, the current situation in Northern Ireland, and the recent Global Irish Economic Forum at Farmleigh.

The Minister will also raise the issue of the Irish undocumented in the United States and will be meeting with the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR).

Minister Martin will tomorrow travel to New York for the inaugural meeting of the new Ireland-US Leadership Council. The grouping brings together leaders of the main Irish-American organisations with national reach in the business, community and cultural fields.

On Friday The Minister will address a business breakfast for 60-70 invited guests at Ireland House. Those invited include key clients of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, and key figures in the New York business world.

During his visit Minister Martin will also meet with the leaders of the main Irish community support centres in the US. He will host a reception at Ireland House in New York for local Irish community organizations. The Minister will also visit a project in Rockland County where the Irish Government has joined with the GAA in funding the development of the local sports grounds.

On Saturday Minister Martin will attend an interfaith service on Staten Island on Saturday 17th to commemorate those Irish famine emigrants who died while quarantined on arrival in New York and he will visit the Mission of our Lady of the Rosary to view their extensive archival records of Irish immigrants.
© 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Hope for Undocumented Irish

New hope for undocumented Irish as USCIS prepares for surge in visa applications
Agency says it needs to be ready to accept 10m applications in just a few weeks


Visa hope: USCIS is quietly preparing for expected upsurge in applications
Undocumented Irish immigrants have been given new reason to hope that immigration reform is on President Obama's agenda.

This follows a report in The New York Times that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency has quietly begun preparing for an expected upsurge in its workload.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of USCIS, says it is planning ahead for the possibility of comprehenive immigration reform.

Mayorkas says that President Obama has already told immigration officials that the White House proposal will include a legalization program and “We are under way to prepare for that.”
Recent estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center say there are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

The USCIS is concerned that it would not be able to handle the expected flood of applications if a legalization program was approved.

For example, it currently processes some 6 million applications in 12 months and immigration experts believe the agency would need to be prepared to deal with some 10 million in the space of a few weeks.

Meanwhile, two Massachusetts police have pulled out of a program which authorized them to enforce federal immigration laws.

The police departments in Framingham and Barnstable have said the program was too costly and did nothing to help fight crime.

"It doesn’t benefit the Police Department to engage in deportation and immigration enforcement,’’ Framingham’s chief, Steven Carl, said. “We’re done. I told them to come get the computers.’’