Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An unbearable tragedy

Nobody should have to make this decision, those where the dreadful words that a good friend of mine had to utter this last weekend. Her younger brother and his girlfriend were tragically killed in a car accident in Co. Kerry on Saturday night. The news was a terrible blow to lose a family member so young it was shocking for her but the unbearable pain for my friend was the most difficult decision of her life should she fly back to Ireland to attend the funeral and grieve with her parents and brothers and sisters?
My friend has been living here for fifteen years she received her nursing degree here, works here and pays taxes she is an Irish immigrant living in America. My friend is undocumented and because she originally overstayed her tourist visa she can not get sponsorship employment through her nursing degree, she has been trapped in an immigration nightmare with no visa available under current law for her.

If my friend goes home to attend her brothers funeral she risks losing everything she has here. My friends mother was the driving force behind helping her to come to a final decision. Her mother begged her not to go that with all that she had to deal with the guilt of my friends situation would have been a tremendous added stress. An extremely painful situation is turned into an utterly hopeless one because there is no time to grieve with family members and loved ones.
This is the saddest part of the immigrants story, the Irish immigrants of the past could not attend funerals in Ireland because you couldn't just jump on a plane and be in Ireland in six hours now the Irish immigrants can jump on a plane but get fingerprinted and told they can not come back. My friend is an avid supporter of ILIR and a very active member she is an ordinary decent person trying to cope with an extrodinary situation. There will be a mass here for her brother and all her friends and family members in America will attend to offer their support. This is the very reason why the ILIR can not fail, these are real human lives affected by this "no visa available for you" immigration policy. I felt so powerless and words were empty and useless there was very little to say or do to ease her pain. However there is something we all can do work harder to get her visa problem solved.


Anonymous said...


That is so sad. My prayers are with you at this very sad time.

kerrylady said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...


Im so sorry for the unbearable situation your in.My sympathies and prayers are with you


narrowback said...

I can emphatize with that 100 percent. Think back to when my mother lost her father and mother in the 1950's and 60's and didnt know they were gone until the telegraph arrived! They didn't have phones in most rural places in Ireland back then. Even if she did know she wouldn't have had the money to go home anyway because my Dad worked 3 jobs just to support his family. Yet we still sent money to our families in Ireland and whatever clothes we had grown out of was sent back there too. It's great that those days no longer exist. The only thing that annoys me about this generation of undocumented is that I think once you guys and girls get your Green cards you too will leave for good in a few years down the road like the generation form the 80's did.