Saturday, July 29, 2006
He recently contacted the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform to share his story. We will follow his story and introduce you to him in person when comprehensive immigration reform is passed and he gets the chance to earn his way to legal status.
Congress wants to brand this close relative of a prominent American as a felon simply because he overstayed a visa. He is not a criminal. He is a victim of a broken immigration system.
The real wrong here is the history of inaction on immigration by the Know-Nothings in the House. For six years they sat idle, but for the occassional tough-talking accomplish-nothing press statement about border security. Now, instead of seizing the opportunity to pass comprehensive immigration reform, they hold cynical stall and delay hearings hoping to divisive anti-immigrant rhetoric will stir up the "base" and motiviate them to the polls. They mask their Know-Nothing rhetoric with scary smoke screen of "border security."
After six years of doing nothing, the House Know-Nothings propose to criminalize the undocumented people that came in and built lives here while the Know-Nothings looked the other way on immigration.
House Know-Nothings must really know nothing if they can honestly complain that the Senate Bill's plan to provide a path to legal status is an administrative nightmare in one breath and then exhale in the next breath that their enforcement-only plan (which would require rounding up 12 million (50,000 Irish) people, separating families and wholesale deportation) will run with silky smooth efficiency.
Perhaps they know that so-long as voters are focused on blaming undocumented immigrants, they won't notice how little has been accomplished while the House Know-Nothings were in power.
Don't let the same people who fell asleep at the switch in 2001 and have yet to wake up when it comes to protecting this nation get away with doing nothing but issuing more silly technicolor warnings and blaming the undocumented Irish for problems that have nothing to do with the immigration status of the undocumented Irish. The undocumented Irish just want a chance continue to make a life for themselves in this country as they have been doing for years and as their ancestors, like General Philip Sheridan have done for generations.
It is curious that a relative of General Phillip Sheridan, who felt compelled to conceal his Irish roots to avoid the anti-Irish smears of the Know-Nothings of his day, must live in the shadows and face similar empty and irrational anti-immigrant rhetoric as he tries to make an honest life for himself in America.
Friday, July 28, 2006
from "The Immigration Solution," a letter by Sean Conroy, published in Thursday's Arlington Advocate
We were met in D.C. by Sen. Edward Kennedy and John McCain who sponsored a comprehensive reform bill in the Senate. Senator McCain, a Vietnam Veteran and war hero thanked the undocumented for advocacy work and public demonstrations, stating, "There is beginning to be an appreciation for all those who have made a contribution to America. I'm proud to again be in your company you mean a lot to me, but there are 11 million others and you are speaking for them and speaking eloquently."
Senator McCain knows of the 60,000 foreign born who are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Immigrants, documented and undocumented, including Mexicans who Mr. Baran alleges bring disease to America, have died serving during the War on Terror. Our armed servicemen and women serve alongside Irish, Brazilian, Mexican and other immigrants, all sharing one thing: a deep love of America. If immigrants are prepared to die in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan, surely we should do the right thing by granting status to their friends and relatives left behind here in the U.S.
Mr. Baran seems to have left out a solution to the immigration question among his three paragraphs of questions. Deporting the immigrants will not only devastate our country, but has been projected to cost upward of $230 billion or more over five years. This $46 billion a year cost exceeds the entire budget for the Department of Homeland Security (FY'06: $34.2 billion) and is almost triple the cost of military operations in Afghanistan ($16.8 billion).
The solution that we need is comprehensive reform.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, CLINIC chairman and a consultant to the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, testified July 27 before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims that the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA) of 2006, which has been passed by the U.S. Senate, “contains many of the elements necessary to comprehensively reform a flawed immigration system.”
“Although it does not contain all the elements the U.S. bishops would like to see in legislation, it is the right approach and right direction our country should be taking in tackling the problem of illegal immigration,” he said.
“In our view, an enforcement-only approach to immigration reform will not address the need for legal avenues for future flows of immigrants to come to the United States to work or join family members, nor would it address the plight of 11-12 million undocumented in the nation,” Bishop DiMarzio said.
He stressed that enactment of comprehensive immigration reform would enhance, not undermine, protecting the nation from terrorist threats.
“By enacting comprehensive immigration reform, we would be better able to identify who is already in the country and to identify and control who enters it,” he said.
Bishop DiMarzio said that providing “an earned path to citizenship” would compel the millions of undocumented in the United States “to emerge ‘from the shadows’ and identify themselves to the government.”
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Wear you "Legalize the Irish" shirt.
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
This summer, Know-Nothing House leadership refused to go to conference with the Senate to pass bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
Instead, the Know-Nothings showed they were Do-Nothings. They announced summertime stall and delay show-trial hearings and gave themselves a forum to bash the Bush-Senate plan for comprehensive immigration reform.
The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform remains focused on the prize of comprehensive immigration reform. Throught the summer, ILIR volunteers patiently adjusted and juggled work, child care, and family schedules each week to attend every House hearing. The undocumented Irish desperately need comprehensive immigration reform now. Faced with cynical stall and delay, the traditionally tight-knit American-Irish communities are coming closer together; attendance at weekly walk-in ILIR meetings is steadily growing; and momentum is building nationwide for a busy Autumn Campaign in support of comprehensive immigration reform.
In contrast, the House Know-Nothings, appear (at least to ILIR volunteers who attend every hearing) to be worn down. Too much of their own hot air?
At one recent hearing, several House Know-Nothings arrived late and left early. If these pre-scripted hearings are so crucial a source of information gathering, House Know-Nothings should arrive early and stay late.
Yesterday, several ILIR volunteers sat in a nearly empty gallery for a House hearing. Apparently the politics of delay, distraction and divisive rhetoric are failing to motivate and rally the Know-Nothing "base."
Today ILIR volunteers who traveled to Washington DC to attend a full day of five scheduled hearings learned that the schedule was reduced just yesterday afternoon to only two hearings. It appears the Know-Nothings are losing interest in their own show-trial hearings.
The American-Irish community cannot afford to lose interest.
Call your representatives at district offices throughout the summer.
Say you want them to pass the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation supported by President Bush and passed by the Senate.
The Bush-Senate plan provides the best chance for otherwise law-abiding, but undocumented, Irish living in America to be able to stay and earn their way to legal status.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
New Poll: 70% of voters want immigration reform this year and support granting legal status to the undocumented already here
More than 70 percent also favor a bill the Senate passed in May that would beef up immigration enforcement but also would grant legal status to most of the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants and would admit temporary guest workers, according to the July 9-13 survey conducted jointly by the Tarrance Group, a Republican polling firm, and Democratic pollster Lake Research Partners.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Wear your LEGALIZE THE IRISH shirt!
DATE: Thursday, July 27th
TIME: 8:30pm til late
PLACE: Cuckoo's Nest, Woodside
Monday, July 24, 2006
Attorney General Gonzalez on Friday, July 21, said:
That said, I believe we can all agree on at least one fact and one answer when it comes to immigration.
The fact is that the federal government needs to take action.
And the answer - is that there are no easy answers. And that's all right. I'm proud to support the president's proposal for immigration reform in part because it isn't an easy answer. It's a broad set of reforms that address the problem of illegal immigration from every relevant angle: security at the border, a temporary worker program, effective identification systems that will ease employer accountability, and a course of action for the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here.
Most illegal immigrants who have been living and working here a long time have been productive and otherwise law-abiding members of our society. Allowing them a chance at citizenship is fair, but it must be earned, and the price of breaking the law must be paid.
Like anything that is earned, citizenship will be especially cherished by those who work for it. For those who came here illegally, immigration reform will make the road to citizenship harder and longer, but not out of reach. Again, this is a fair and practical solution to the challenge facing all Americans, including those who seek or have already achieved citizenship legally.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
BLACK 47 rocked New York Harbor last night.
Much thanks to Larry Kirwin and the lads for graciously voicing their support of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform during the show.
After the three hour Irish Rock cruise, a literal boat load of Black 47 fans came ashore and made their way to Rocky Sullivan's where Seanchie played to a packed house.
It was a great night out.
Friday, July 21, 2006
First of all, speaking for myself as a H1 visa holder, I want all the undocumented Irish people to know that I support your effort one hundred percent. I believe that all other visa holders, whether they are H1, J1 or any other visa class support you too; at least I hope so.
I have a mix of Irish documented and undocumented friends here in New York. They are equally hard working and equally dedicated to maintaining the lives they lead here in the USA. They are equal in their respect for this nation and for all that it stands for. They are proud to be Irish and just as proud to be in America, whichever way they got here.
They are not equal however when it comes to conversations about going home to see newborn children, attend funerals and weddings of loved ones, or just visit family. When your friends and family that you love and care for are undocumented, you try not to mention your visa much. You think before you complain about your boss or your wages.
You are careful not to go on too much about your problems because nothing you say (and I mean nothing) will ever compare with the pain they will face when there is an emergency at home they cannot attend to. It takes a loving mature friendship to cross the visa or green card divide - I know because I live it.
So again, let me reiterate my support for all the undocumented who desperately want to stay, work and live in America.
I'm glad to be legal, but it didn't fall out of the sky into my lap. I worked hard for it and I was lucky to spot an opportunity and luckier still that it all worked out for me. Now, I get paid a wage that just barely covers my needs. I can't afford a car even though I have the luxury of being allowed a license. Also, like many Americans born in this country, I do not have Health Insurance benefits. So having a visa is no walk in the park; we can be bumped off anytime with no comeback. If the job finishes and they don't want you it's goodbye. What happens to us then after making a life and falling in love here? We have to go too.
I haven't heard much mention of what will happen to visa holders if the path to citizenship comes in - will we be included? No one knows yet. For visa holders, the path to citizenship is equally as long and fragile you have to be here legally for several years before filing for a green card and then you join the queue, same as everyone else with no shortcuts. I have been making calls to Senators and Congressmen. I have attended several fundraising events for the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. In my own small way, I tried to lend a hand to raise the profile of the ILIR and the need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In fact, I am planning to wear a Legalize the Irish tee shirt to Washington DC next week to attend the House hearings on immigration.
I think all the undocumented Irish in our community should step forward and lend more support to the effort. I cannot understand those few who would sit back and let others carry their load. I just hope that by the time the Green Cards finally do come for the Irish, we can all look back and be proud of the role we played in making it happen.
Mise le meas, Mary, New York
The ILIR were well on time lining up before the hearing started thus securing the precious few seats available in the magnificent Armed Services room of the Rayburn building. We wore our simple message on our simple t shirts in white and green "legalize the Irish" and as usual it attracted lots of attention including a double check look from Congressman Sensenbrenner. We received an extremely hearty welcome from a Congressman I won't mention, he confessed to us that we should never stop fighting for the greencards for the Irish because his grandfather came to the United States illegally from Co Cork and he seemed mighty glad he did and so did we up Cork.
Congressman KIldee stopped us to tell us he was extremely proud of his Irish heritage and that we are a nation of immigrants, that his daughter is married to a Dubliner and living in Dublin and he believed we can win the visas so up the Dubs.
The hearing was longer than most with a long list of speakers to testify on whether a fence should be built along the Mexican border. The general consensus was that of course we should secure the border but a working immigration system is also needed and a comprehensive approach is the best way forward so why all the talking and no action I thought.
The gentleman in uniform beside me was with Congressman Reyes to testify he was a customs and border enforcement officer, Congressman Reyes said that he felt that the hearings were more about politics than policy and that the American people would be far better served if Congress was instead working to reach a compromise on comprehensive border security and immigration. I couldn't agree more talk is cheap the Senate bill also has some fencing in it, more boots on the ground and border technology as well as a guest worker programme and a pathway to citizenship so go to conference.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Speaking of Queens, the "Legalize the Irish" CD Launch Event originally scheduled for this evening has been postponed until next Thursday, July 27, 2006.
As the signboard prominently placed on the sidewalk outside the Heritage reads, ALL ARE WELCOME to attend: Those who want to get more involved and those who just want to find out first hand what the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform is doing in the Summer Campaign for comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
Attendees at the meeting heard reports from ILIR representatives who attended the July 18 House hearing and a report from the Queens delegation that was returning home from the House hearing earlier in the day (July 19).
Volunteers eagerly put pen to paper to sign up as part of the group attending today's (Thursday, July 20) House hearing and the numerous hearings scheduled for next week (two on Wednesday July 26, and five on Thursday, July 27).
Irish-America is under seige. The Know-Nothing/Do-Nothing strategy of stall and delay with hearings upon hearings on already passed bills will not deter the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.
Heavy-handed and fear-mongering rhetoric, stacked witness lists, and loaded leading questions will not distract the ILIR from the need for comprehesive immigration reform legislation. The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will be attending every hearing and listening to every word.
Come out to the meetings and see for yourself.
Call up your Senators and Congressional Representatives. Tell them that you support the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. Let them know you want them to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation. :Let them know you you support earned legal status for the 50,000 undocumented Irish living in this country. Tell them you want to give the undocumented Irish a chance to earn their way to legalized status and prove they are worthy of being allowed to stay.
Legalize the Irish!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
"Representative Silvestre Reyes, a Texas Democrat who was called because he served in the Border Patrol for 26 years, dismissed the hearing as “a waste of time,” saying the Republican-led Congress had repeatedly failed to provide enough money for border enforcement.
And one Republican on the subcommittee, Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona, who had sponsored a measure closer to the Senate version, called the session a “faux hearing” at a time when, he said, the two houses should be in negotiations to reconcile their differing approaches."
Other news agencies reported "more of the hearing was spent trading partisan shots, than dissecting the Senate bill," and that, Rep. Flake, said, "I resent the implication we tried comprehensive reform and it failed." It's not that '86 was too much like the Senate comprehensive reform, it's that it wasn't comprehensive enough, he believes. "We didn't allow a legal framework for additional workers," he said.
Congressman Reyes has a blog. Yesterday, he wrote about the ham-handed House Hearing and his support for the comprehensive immigration reform set forth in the Senate Bill.
On Sunday, the Washington Post carried a piece endorsing comprehensive immigration reform and pointing out that "the first House "field hearings" on immigration legislation have at times seemed more like talk show free-for-alls than serious contributions to the legislative process."
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
As you may know, the House passed an unenforceable-enforcement only bill (HR 4437) on border security back in December 2005. The House Bill does nothing about the 12 million (50,000 Irish) undocumented already living in the United States. In May 2006, the Senate passed a Bill (2611) that provides for border security and comprehensive immigration reform.
House Know-Nothings refused to enter conference committee with the Senate and anounced hearings to stall and delay immigration reform and give themselves a forum for one-sided debate.
The title of today's hearing, subtle as a sledgehammer, makes clear that these hearings are nothing more than a chance to talk tough about border security without really doing anything.
The stacked witness list describes grass roots organizations and neutral bi-partisan think tanks, but the folks who show up to testify are anti-immigration advocacy groups with grassroots as real as astroturf.
Congressman Sylvestre Reyes (D-TX), stood up and said there was a need for LESS TALK and MORE ACTION. Among other things, he saids, "In the nearly five years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there have been countless investigations, hearings, and reports about how to secure our borders and curb illegal immigration, but far too little in the way of meaningful measures to keep America safe. The time for talk about these issues has long since passed and the moment for action is now. Instead of numerous hearings that may make good politics but do little to advance sound policy, Congress needs to reach a compromise agreement on comprehensive border security and immigration reform legislation."
The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will not be deterred by harsh rhetoric and delay tactics.
At the end of summer, House Know-Nothings will know one thing: Irish-America, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, and the 50,000 undocumented Irish in this country are not going away. However, we ar going to the hearings.
ILIR delegates will continue to attend each House and Senate hearing this summer to demonstrate the strength of our community's resolve and determination to bring about comprehensive immigration reform legislation that provides a chance for the undocumented Irish to earn their way to legalized status.
Monday, July 17, 2006
The House hearings are trying to focus on the toll illegal immigrants inflict on border states without considering the practicalities of immigration reform or the benefits of controlled immigration. They need to not only secure the borders but to address the people already here and let them step out of the shadows and become full members of a free society that they are working in and contributing to.
The Irish in particular are making sure their voice is heard, that the Irish immigrants are undocumented and as the noose tightens around their neck in America they are fighting to stay they have worked too hard and waited too long to give in now. They just wait in a constant state of anxiety that nothing will happen to their families back in Ireland because a trip home to see them is a one way ticket and a bolt on the door of your American life. The face of the undocumented is every normal day to day face we all see our neighbors, our employees, our relatives, waitresses, bartenders, landscapers, kitchen porters and hotel workers. How can we say they are not welcome here and then ask them to mow our lawns.
Friday, July 14, 2006
The Feis will be held at:
Anthony Wayne Recreation Area Stony Point, New York
Exit 17 on the Palisades Interstate Pkwy
A feis is an all day celebration of Irish music, dance, and culture.
All day means things get started early on a summer Sunday.
A First Mass is scheduled for 8:30am. Dancing competitions start at 9:00am. The schedule is tight. Piping also starts at 9:00am. There is a Gaelic mass at 11:00am. Pipe Bands will start at 12:30 pm.
The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will be there to enjoy the day.
Come out this Saturday and celebrate Irish-American culture at the Rockland County Feis.
This week Senate immigration hearings in Miami and Washington cut through the smoke screen of the House Know-Nothing/Do-Nothing hearings and focused the nation's attention back on the immigrant contribution to the United States Armed Services and the real need for comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
On Monday in Miami, the Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony from the Honorable David S. C. Chu, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; General Peter Pace, USMC Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Honorable Emilio T. Gonzalez, DirectorU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Honorable Alfred Rascon, Former Director of Selective Service; and Professor Margaret D. Stock, Associate Professor of Constitutional and Military LawUnited States Military Academy.
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from The Honorable Carlos M. Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce; Mr. Michael W. Cutler, Fellow, Center for Immigration Studies; Mr. Benjamin Johnson, Director Immigration Policy Center; Dr. William F. McDonald, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, and Co-Director, Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure Georgetown University Law Center; and Mr. Niall O’Dowd, Founder and Chairman, Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.
In other news, here is a recent article that debunks the fear-based anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Know-Nothings.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The glow of the full moon fought its way through the clouds to shine down on McLean Avenue this early morning.
The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform are on the move again, fighting for comprehensive immigration reform. Fortified with tea, coffee and Lucozade, hearty delegates from the ILIR travel together to the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, to attend the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
They are tired, but they are no huddled mass. They yearn to breathe free and seek an opportunity for earned legalized status beyond the threshold of the golden door.
I came here six years ago from Ireland for a three week holiday and fell in love with America.
I haven't seen my parents or some of our family since I left. Some of the younger children I left behind in Ireland were new born babies. Now that they are older, I can speak to them on the phone, but we have never met and their auntie is a stranger.
I have worked steadily since arriving. I pay my taxes and social security. I have never received a penny back in tax refunds and I understand I am ineligible to claim benefits from the social security system I have been paying into for years. If I get sick or injured I must pay for all doctor and hospital visits.
I have missed lots of special family occasions, including birthdays, christenings, my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, first holy communions, confirmations, and funerals. Two of my closest friends passed away and I could not attend their wakes and funeral services. My sister is getting married next month. I cannot attend the wedding.
Sure, I can always go back to Ireland, get a job and collect government benefits that are unavailable here in the States.
But I love this country and it's now my home. I have been on my own now for six Christmases. I pray to God I will be able to visit my loved ones for Christmas 2006.
A lot of my guy friends have driving licenses that are up for renewal. Of course, they can't renew them as they have no social security number. The only way they can get to and from work is by driving (they can't lug all their tools on the train). Many of these guys have lost their businesses because they cannot drive legally. These are smart, hardworking men who could be working hard building America what is needed and doing a damn fine job of it.
There are an estimated 50, 000 undocumented Irish living and working in America at the moment. Let’s all stand together as one and get our status sorted this year.
There are approximately 50 million Irish-Americans in this country.
Irish-America, we need your support.
Please let your voice be heard.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The Senate Armed Services Committee held a field hearing on Immigrant contributions to the Military today.
Marine General, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and son of an Italian Immigrant father Peter Pace testified, "My dad came here, sometimes worked three jobs, but the jobs were there for him and the opportunities were there for him." He added, "There is no other country on the planet that affords that opportunity to those who come."
The five senators who attended the hearing said the enforcement-only House bill passed in December would dishonor the immigrants who served in the armed forces because it would render as criminals some of their relatives -- parents or spouses -- who may be undocumented immigrants.
In other news, the Wall Street Journal published, not one, but two pieces in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Take an extra look at the signatories on that second piece, and you'll realize how ridiculous the House Know-Nothings sound when they try to demonize the predominantly Republican drafted and sponsored Senate Bill in favor of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (S 2611) by referring to it as the Reid-Kennedy Bill. The truth is that Comprehensive immigration reform is favored by the majority of Republican voters.
In all, when the Senate and House versions of the immigration legislation were fairly explained to voters -- in some detail -- Republicans backed the Senate version 75-17 but only broke even on the House bill, 47-46. Asked if the Senate bill constitutes "amnesty," the dirty word in the immigration debate, 39 percent said yes but 49 percent said no.
The fact is that Republican voters are far ahead of their Neanderthal leaders on the immigration debate. They recognize that, as The New York Times reported, three-quarters of illegal immigrants work for major corporations and have income taxes withheld from their paychecks like other American workers. What is more, this three-quarters contribute to Social Security even though they have no prospect of ever receiving benefits.
CD Launch Night for the:
“No Paddy Left Behind” EPNew Immigration song:
“Legalize Them All”
Only $5 per CD
All profits for the CD going to IRISH LOBBY FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM
The Cuckoo's Nest
Thursday, July 27TH
8:30 till late …
FINNS FURY (New York - Celtic Rock Group)
DONNIE CARROLL BAND (Local Trad & Folk Group)
+ SPECIAL GUESTS
No cover but we ask that you buy the CD!
Please wear your “Legalize The Irish” t-shirt!
The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform,. including Irish-born Gulf War Veteranss, will be there to make sure the continuing contribution of Irish immigrants to the U.S. military is not forgotten.
In March 2005, President George W. Bush, issued a proclamation which read, in part,"The story of the Irish in America is an important part of the history of our country... Americans of Irish descent... have shaped our Nation and influenced American life.
Long before the great wave of Irish immigration in the 1840s, people of Irish ancestry were defining and defending our Nation. Charles Thomson, an Irishman by birth, served as Secretary of the Continental Congress and helped design the Great Seal of the United States.
Irish-born Commodore John Barry fought for our country's independence and later helped found the United States Navy.
Irish Americans have been leaders in our public life, and they have retained a proud reverence for their heritage. In June 1963, President John F. Kennedy spoke to the Parliament in Dublin and told the story of the Irish Brigade, a regiment that fought valiantly for the Union and suffered terrible losses during the Civil War.
Two decades after President Kennedy's visit, President Ronald Reagan returned to his great grandfather's hometown in County Tipperary, Ireland, and greeted the crowd in their own Irish language. The industry, talent, and imagination of Irish Americans have enriched our commerce and our culture. Their strong record of public service has fortified our democracy. Their strong ties to family, faith, and community have strengthened our Nation's character. The Irish are a significant reason why Americans will always be proud to call ourselves a Nation of immigrants."
The Irish and Irish-American contribution to the United States Armed Services is unquestioned. Over two hundred recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor were born in Ireland, and scores of others were the children and grand children of Irish immigrants. Five of the nineteen double-recipients of the Medal of Honor were born in Ireland, three were Irish-American. The rich history of the Irish contribution to the military is shown in the history of units like the Fighting 69th. The Father of the United States Navy was born in Ireland. The inventor of the submarine was born in Ireland. An Irishman was at the "Shores of Tripoli" with the USMC and the first mascot of Parris Island was not a British Bulldog, but an Irish Terrier named Mike.
Don''t lock out the Irish. Legalize the Irish!
Sunday, July 09, 2006
"Keep the Tradition Alive!"
The crowds were entertained by step-dancers from the O'Rourke Irish Dancers, and music by the Guss Hayes Band, the Chris Brown Band, Celtic Justice, the Tim Harte Band, Padraig Allen, and, of course, the Westchester County Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Corps. The Gus Allen Band urged everyone to Keep the Irish tradition alive by supporting the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and the push for comprehensive immigration reform.
Enthusiastic football fans flocked around a small television set up at the concessions stand to view the World Cup final between Italy and France. The Azzurri prevailed on penalty kicks.
Congratulations to Bob Strauf and the American-Irish Association for hosting a wonderful event. They truly are keeping the tradition alive in Westchester County.
Today's NY Times carries an interesting article about the differing views about the impact of immigration on the U.S. economy. Read "The Immigration Equation," by Roger Lowenstein.
In other news, the cynical sideshow of House hearings continued on Friday in Laredo Texas.
If closing the border is so crucial, why delay action to hold hearings seven months after passing the unenforceable-enforcement only bill (HR 4437)?
The Senate Bill (S 2611) provides for border security and comprehensive immigration reform that will do something about the 12 million (50,000 Irish) undocmented immigrants already here.
Border Security is important. But don't let the House Know-Nothings distract you from the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Don't let them scare you into believing that the undocumented Irish are hiding WMD's.
You have the tee-shirt, now get the CD! Only $5
All profits go to the Irish Lobby For Immigration Reform.
Legalize Them All
"No Paddy Left Behind" EP
Release Date: OUT NOW!
The CD by Frank Carroll will be available in all Irish bars, restaurants and shops in the
New York area. For more information and were to get your copy please contact (718) 962-4268.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
I was there to be heard because I am fighting to stay in America.
We were there bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (the first to arrive). We simply asked if we could attend the immigration hearings. We got the thumbs up and headed in past security in our lovely green and white t shirts.
The hearings where great and extremely encouraging. The message of the day wassimple: America needs immigrants.
Many different speakers highlighted over and over again that the Senate bill was good for America much to the delight of the ILIR gang in the front rows. I was extremely moved and proud of everyone that got on that bus to attend the hearings.
It really felt like the power of one can make a difference.
We can influence the debate by putting anIrish face on the undocumented, showing that the Irish are a part of those living in America who are so desperately in need of a greencard. Almost all of the speeches where inspirational.
I particularly loved it when Mayor Bloomberg told the Judiciary Committee that those who want to try and stop hard working people who want to come to America may as well "stand on the beach and try to stop the tide from flowing." Then, in response to Senator Specter's question about what would happen to New York if all the undocumented immigrants where sent home, Mayor Mike said it would collapse. In the week that America celebrates her independence,
Senator Specter is trying to give the immigrants theirs.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The Senate Judiciary Committee's Field Hearing was called in response to the House decision to stall and delay real progress on immigration reform by holding sham summer hearings that some have called a dog and pony show.
New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg testified, "we need to get real about the people who are now living in this country illegally - in many cases raising families and paying taxes. The idea of deporting these 11 or 12 million people - about as many as live in the entire state of Pennsylvania - is pure fantasy. Even if we wanted to, it would be physically impossible to carry out. If we attempted it - and it would be perhaps the largest round-up and deportation in world history - the social and economic consequences would be devastating."
The Irish presence was felt during the Senate hearing. There were several references to the numerous green-lettered white "Legalize the Irish" tee shirts throughout the audience. The message was clear. The Irish want comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed this year.
Meanwhile, President Bush said, "I'm strongly for comprehensive immigration policy," during a visit to a Dunkin Donuts in Alexandria, Virginia.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Call your local representatives at their district offices and let them know you want to see comprehensive immigration reform passed this year.
When you are not attending hearings and calling your elected representatives to urge them to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation, you can prepare for your naturalization by taking the this Naturalization Quiz from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Irish -America is celebrating Independence Day with patriotic hard work this holiday weekend.
Irish-America is mobilizing to be heard at the sham summer hearings set up by House Republicans.
Irish-American immigrants and their supporters, by providing an example of hard work and determination, hope to nudge the Do-Nothing Know-Nothings in the House away from partisan politics and back to work on the legislative solution to our nation's immigration crisis.
It is time for the House to stop stalling and to stop scapegoating immigrants for the failures of our broken immigration system.
It is time for the House to get its head out of the sand.
It is time for you who are reading this and who support comprehensive immigration reform to contact the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and get involved.
ALL IRISH NEED APPLY!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!