Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Marie Claire profiles Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteer


A report by Sarah Garland in the current September 2006 issue (page 124) of Marie Claire profiles an Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteer and undocumented Irish immigrant Samantha in an article titled "Immigrant Nation."

Here is an excerpt:

"After I graduated from college in '97, I came to New York to visit for a couple of months. I found a job bartending and made some good friends. Months quickly turned into years. I moved back to Ireland for a while, but I was miserable. There was nothing for me there, so I returned to the U.S. If someone had told me then that in 2006 I would still be undocumented and working as a bartender, I'd have said, "Are you crazy?" And yet, here I am.

For five years, I waited and hoped. I was sure that any day, Congress would pass a law allowing immigrants with steady jobs to stay here. In the meantime, I got married (to an undocumented Irishman), went back to school [where she is currently working on a Master's Degree in Psychology], and tried to live life as normally as possible. But I can't travel home to see my family. I miss funerals and weddings, and I can't move ahead with my career because I have to take jobs that pay cash. I haven't had children because what if I'm deported? It's like somebody pressed pause on my life plans.

From the outside, it probably sounds crazy that anyone would want to live like this, but when you're on the inside, you just get on with it. You're always thinking, I'm going to get the visa, I can't live like this forever, something is definitely going to happen.

Then I realized nothing would happen if I didn't get involved. I joined the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and began speaking out at marches and meeting with members of Congress. The goal of the group is comprehensive immigration reform, not just for Irish people, but for every immigrant group in America.

I turned 31 in July, and there are so many things I want to do in life - set up my own counseling program, start a family - but I can't do them without a visa. So I'm focused on getting Congress to pass this bill. Without it, I lose everything I've dreamed about.

9 comments:

skara brae said...

How could anyone be so stupid?

skara brae said...

How could anyone be so stupid?

Anonymous said...

Samantha Iam also in the same boat as you have a good education have a husband and hope to have chrildren soon.Everyone knows we are the type of people this country needs and wants to better its self So have no doubt we will soon have visas the people in charge are not as stupid as skara brae
Breda

Anonymous said...

Uncel sam needs you and all the other Irish too its the least us Americans can do our country owes the Irish so much
Jason McKena

Slugger O'Toole said...

Skara: how could anyone be so pointlessly negative? Legalize the Irish.

Skara Brae said...

Ok, maybe I'm negative. Forget about the green cards. It's never going to happen. Not in the current political and economic climate.

Anonymous said...

Hi Skara, I really appreaciate your opinion im sure your a very intelligent girl and im very glad that you dont have to experience what Sam and so many of us have to experience all in the name of just simply loving the way of life here in America and we earned a path to live here b/c our forefathers worked tirelessly to make a future here for us and for Irish/Americans born of them....and we would like to keep that momentum going. Its nothing to do with stupidity at all in my experience every now and again i wonder how this past 12 1/2 yrs has just flown by but its everything to do with heart and self sacrifice which is were i hope many american born irish will return to if this is going to work out in the "bigger picture" sence. I believe i may have lost a very good friend b/c i just found out she thinks i am looking for a free pass for breaking the law and maybe so in some peoples eyes but if you look at the facts Irish people are just not being given visas its not that we just plop ourselves here barging in as we feel.. I keep trudging forward as there are thousands of us to think of Skara and not just me or you. i hope you have a change of heart soon and have an open mind to seeing the bigger picture down the road. America with NO IRISH...thats just not right! Kennedy wouldnt have wanted it this way, Regan wouldnt have wanted it and Clinton definetly doesnt want it.Im so glad that more and more people are supporting our cause and seeing that LEGALIZING is the only way out of this so we can once and for all live our lives completly.

same old song said...

Skara's empty negativity is nothing new. Just like barstool perchers who said nothing would come of the ILIR's attempts to organize and move this issue way back in December 2005.

The ILIR has made a huge impact on this issue and has only been at it for less than one year.

Let Skara and the naysayers relish their negativity. They predict doom and gloom for everything and seem to enjoy others' misfortune.

They are also the folks who will be the first in line and loudest in complaints about having to fill out paperwork or the length of the line they have to wait on when Congress finally passes a path to earned legalisation.

We have two choices
(1) do nothing and let lose everything
(2) do something (join the ILIR, call congress) and maybe get something done for us.

You have nothing to lose by doing something. You have everything to lose by doing nothing.

Join the ILIR! Legalise the Irish!

Irish Voices said...

skara's most trecent commment was inadvertently deleted -- please repost