Monday, January 4, 2010

Hopeful Vigilant and Prepared

I just received the ILIR quarterly update which I thought I would share with you.

ILIR’s message is most certainly a positive one. Their work is continuing and so must ours. Happy New Year to all our members and let us look to immigration reform in 2010.


"Welcome to the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform's last quarter report for 2009.

The question on all our minds is what are the chances of Comprehensive Immigration Reform passing in 2010? The best answer we can give is that we are hopeful and remain vigilant, concerned and prepared.

With Healthcare Reform proposals having passed in the House and Senate and heading for likely resolution, we are a step closer in the queue to having Senator Schumer's CIR proposals introduced in Committee and that's the starting point. It will need bipartisan support in the Senate and House to move forward.

And for that to happen, CIR will need willingness to compromise on behalf of the various interest groups. That's where real courage comes in: acceptance of the greater good rather than one's own view of perfection.

You will see from the articles below, ILIR has been very busy these last three months bringing the Irish dimension to the immigration reform debate to various key stakeholders in US politics.

We have received assurances from every one of them of their support for comprehensive reform for the undocumented and the inclusion of an Irish E-3 visa to provide for future migrants. Future meetings are in the works with Senators and Congress members in Montana, Maine, Arizona and Louisiana.

Many thanks to our friends in the Ancient Order of Hibernians for their support and help in these meetings.

In the meantime, local Irish groups have a crucial role to play in positively influencing the build-up to immigration reform. We have included a list of suggestions, detailed below.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please do let me know. My email is

Is Féidir linn!

Happy New Year to you all!

Bart Murphy
Chairman, ILIR "


Irish Central – 11th Dec 2009
Senator Robert Menendez pledges support to ILIR

Irish Emigrant – 9th Nov 2009
Congressman Delahunt Pledges Leadership on ILIR Reform Proposals

Irish Echo – 11th Nov 2009
The new Donnelly?
Staff Writer Article

Belfast Telegraph – 12th Oct 2009
Better late than never for Hillary Clinton's Irish love-in

What you can do to help....

As we await the introduction of an immigration reform bill for us to work with, there is work to be done on the local level to ensure that we have support going forward.

In 2006 and 2007, the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform was fought on the national stage but was lost on the local stage. When it came to the crux, Senators followed the wishes of their constituents and the bill was defeated.

Supporters of immigration reform for the Irish undocumented will never be able to out-phone or out-fax the opposition - our numbers are too small while theirs are in the 10's of millions. What we can do is broaden our field of support within the larger Irish American communities throughout the US.

Here is how you can help:

Be realistic about what's happening and what ILIR and the Irish government can do. Playing the blame game is a waste of time.

Turn your Congressman into a leading advocate. Convince him/her that he/she needs to represent the 10,000+ Irish living in his/her community and support Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Talk to your local diocese. Irish and Irish American priests should be giving sermons from the altar on Sunday. It is a moral issue to support immigration reform - it's the American way, the Christian way, the Catholic way.

Create a campaign to work on your city politicians, council members, Mayors, trade union leaders - any Irish American in a position of power. You need to demand that these people speak truth to power and not just pay lip service.

Get your elected officials on message - "I represent an Irish community of upwards of 0,000. I support Comprehensive Immigration Reform and you should too."

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