Living as an undocumented Irish person in America is kind of like being loved and hated equally at the same time. You have so many positive aspects to your life and people who feel so positive about you; employers, American friends etc and then so many negative and fearful aspects. The former inspire you to stay while the latter urge you to pack up and go.
The Irish undocumented immigrants live here in America because they love the way of life and the opportunities afforded them in this great vast country in spite of the overwhelming fear of being undocumented.
On a daily basis our American dream turns into a nightmare. What if I get hurt badly or sick? I have no medical insurance because I have no social security number. What if a close family member gets sick or, the unthinkable, actually dies? Do I go home and lose my whole life here to attend the funeral.
I can not access the jobs I have the education and skills for without working papers so I work the only jobs that are available to the undocumented.
Now you can not renew your driving license another nail in the coffin, you can’t get a library card never mind a green one.
I recently read the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas and the last line of this book so adequately describes why me and thousands of Irish like me stay on, the line is simply “wait and hope” and that’s what we have been doing. That’s how we justify this to ourselves and to our families back home in Ireland, we will hang on another year.
Now I see that for the first time in a long time the undocumented Irish have real cause for hope from the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.
The Kennedy/McCain bill is our chance this year but only if we put weight behind it and support this bill.
The upcoming meeting in Rory Dolan’s in Yonkers on the 27th of this month is the first step and everyone that can possibly attend defiantly should, there is great solidarity in numbers. We are not alone a lot of people with the opportunities to bring about change are involved in this effort. Hopefully the undocumented Irish will wait no longer.