I arrived in Boston in May 1997, and spent an amazing summer on Cape Cod. We left that September, having overstayed our 90-day visa waiver. I was only 21 and wasn't really thinking too far into the future. I returned to Boston in January 1998 and that was the last time I saw Ireland. I stayed in Massachusetts until late in 1999 and headed to New York to experience something different, not really thinking of visas or consequences at this point. Having fallen in love with New York and thriving there, I still live there, I love my job, but plan to go home in May permanently.
I do regret having stayed here so long illegally, I suppose I didn't see the time go really. I have traveled all over this beautiful country, and would have liked to build a real life here, but opportunities to do this aren't looking good at the minute. I really hope things pick up for the other illegals in America. Despite what anyone says we do jobs no Americans will do, and we do jobs no American will do as well as we can.
I believe the country needs us and it is a huge mistake to criminalize us, we are, for the best part, good people, hard workers who want nothing more than to be able to take part in American life, open a bank account, drive a car, go to school, visit the doctor, own a house, visit home without the fear of losing everything we have worked so hard for, basic things so many take for granted. America was my home for the past nine years, despite my lack of status, but I have given up on the government, and the Irish American's who don't seem to care about us anymore. There are so many influential Naturalized Irish here, with a huge voice who DO NOT USE IT. They have forgotten about us even though we work for them and run their multi- million dollar businesses, they have forgotten where they came from.