Saturday, March 18, 2006

Seamus: Update on Action Alert of March 16

So, I called the number for Specter's committee and the man who answered asked me if my call was related to immigration reform. When I answered yes, he put me through to voicemail! Keep those phone calls coming! We're having an impact!


Wounded Knee said...

Seamus - If you are not a US citizen and you are trying to influence members of the US Congress, you must first register as a foreign agent. However, if you are an American, no problem.

Anonymous said...

Wounded knee, the constitution protects all citizens and non-citizens who reside in the United States of America, you need to check your citizenship exam, and remember today we march tomorrow we vote, Sitting Bull

Anonymous said...

New York Daily News -
Immigration reform through Irish eyes
Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

On Jan. 1, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore arrived here after a long sea voyage from her native Ireland and became the first immigrant received at Ellis Island. While adapting to her new country was undoubtedly difficult, Annie had a huge advantage over the thousands of Irish men and women who today are - like Annie - seeking nothing more than to have a piece of the American Dream. She was a legal immigrant.
But since 1965, a cruel and discriminatory American immigration law has effectively stemmed the flow of Irish legal immigration to the United States.

Prior to 1965, virtually any qualified Irish citizen who wished to immigrate to the U.S. was allowed to do so. In 1965, the quota system gave way to a new rule, which gave preferences only to those immigrants who were able to be sponsored by members of their immediate family. With this rule, Irish immigration took a nosedive. In 2004, only 1,518 Irish citizens were granted permanent visas to take up residence in the U.S., forcing thousands to come to this city without the proper documentation.

Since 9/11, the plight of these undocumented immigrants has been particularly acute. Congress has enacted laws that make it even more difficult to live in this city. For instance, undocumented immigrants can no longer get a driver's license.

And unlike Annie Moore, these new immigrants have no hope of becoming a permanent part of our society. They are also precluded from having bank accounts. If caught and deported, they have virtually no hope of reentering the U.S.

Irish immigrants are not alone in their challenges. They face obstacles shared by the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants from around the globe whose labor keeps America running. A study released this week by the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington found 93% of undocumented immigrants are employed, far above the comparable figure for American citizens, and that a significant share of the 7 million families of undocumented immigrants include children born here, who are automatically U.S. citizens.

All of this makes no sense. Irish immigration has, by all accounts, greatly enriched this country. Today, the descendants of Annie Moore, and the millions like her, lead America in politics, the arts, finance and industry. In this new global economy, we are depriving ourselves of the considerable talents of these new immigrants.

A permanent solution is needed. The proposed McCain-Kennedy bill - which would allow immigrants to work here legally for either three or six years - will once and for all restore equity to our fractured immigration policy, allowing illegal immigrants to earn their legalization through a combination of paying a fine, learning English and undergoing appropriate background checks.

Until then, Irish eyes will be weeping, not smiling.

O'Dwyer, chairman of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, is an attorney specializing in immigration, labor and civil rights law.