As Christmas approaches, thousands of undocumented Irish across America rush to make sure the cards, letters and parcels of gifts they are sending to Ireland are timely posted to parents and family they will not see for yet another year. Some gifts are sent to young nieces and nephews they have never met.
The undocumented Irish resign themselves to a 2006 holiday season of lonely isolation. Visiting Ireland to be with family at Christmas means risking the life they have worked so hard to build for themselves here in America.
While Christmas shopping this weekend, I was pretty much caught up in the holiday spirit (and nearly swept away by the crowds near Rockefeller Center) when my iPod randomly played a Prodigals song brought to mind just how difficult the holiday season can be for the undocumented Irish.
But the New Year is coming and with it comes the opportunity to join the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform for another Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. I can hardly wait to welcome the 2007 Congress.
Under new leadership and determined effort from the thousands of American-Irish supporters of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, Congress will finally enact the long overdue comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
The undocumented Irish love this country and deserve a chance to earn their way to legal status in America.
When Congress passes immigration reform, 2007 will be a Happy New Year indeed.