Thursday, January 19, 2006

Susanne: And yet another Irish immigrant gives up on America

An Irish immigrant I’ve known for the past seven years came into the restaurant where I bartend and told me he is moving home next month. I'm still shocked. This guy loves New York and has a great life here but things have gotten so desperate for the undocumented that he says he can't take it anymore. Basically, he can’t renew his driving license; and that's his life, that's how he gets to work.

I've all sorts of mixed feelings now. My own licence expires this year and I can't renew it either. I'm going over the same ground again, asking myself again all the despairing questions about my life here as an undocumented immigrant.

There are thousands of Irish immigrants in this same tragic situation and we're staying here, waiting and hoping for the McCain/Kennedy bill. It really is the only light at the end of this dark tunnel.

You feel so scared, lonely and isolated when you are undocumented but mostly you feel guilty about putting everything and everyone on hold while you wait.

I'm trying to take classes at college and I have to pay out of state tuition fees because I'm undocumented. It was embarrassing and humiliating at registration when I tried to explain why I had no social security number but can I please take classes anyway. Every time I sign up for a new class of my master’s at CUNY I go through the same thing.

If the bill gets passed my fees will be halved because I will be an in-state resident, just another of the many ways McCain/Kennedy would help me and thousands like me.


Anonymous said...

In the last 2 months i had three of my close friends return to ireland because they havent been home in 5 years.i have considered return too but i dont have such an easy opition.i have a 6 month old baby and a lovin guy and just cant up and leave.its so hard because my baby hasnt meet his grandad yet r some of his was ok when the girls were here a least id have someone to talk 2 r go for lunch with but that all changed.

waiting in hope
a confused mother

Tenacious said...

I'm surprised CUNY would even asks about immigration status.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. I have been here 12 years and all my mates have gone home now. It is a great country but a lonely one.

Anonymous said...

I feel lonely too,I havent been here as long as twelve years but nevertheless i agree,it can be a very lonely place.I always hear of different occasions happening at home and I feel so sorry not to be able to visit,while all the time knowing that I love the life i lead here and thats why i stay.I have to say since this website began i feel such comfort to read all the e-mails from everyone else in the same boat as we are ,i feel like im not completely alone.Thanks for this brilliant website

Anonymous said...

Hi I have been here 8 years and like alot of other irish women , I am very well educated, I have been a nanny for the last 6 years and actually it could open alot of other doors for me, great ones....but alais my boss cant offer them to me because of my illegal status and he really wants too, so I decided that september was D day for me, ive had it with the humiliation of explaining myself time and time again and i just dont want to be a non entity anymore, im 32 and cant do it much longer, although if there was hope if course like many others I woud stay, alot of my friends and family have moved home now and it does get lonely, but i love my life here, ive really built up a great life socially and work wise so it would be in my best interests to stay, and not to go home and start out all over again , but if i have to i will, economically this country would be so much better off if we are legalised, we WANT to pay taxes and help this country, so the government should help us help them