Thursday, December 07, 2006
Schumer says it's V for Victory!!!!!
It was standing room only in St Barnabas to greet Senator Charles Schumer who made the "V" for victory sign
VICTORY IN OUR GRASP: More than 1,100 people squeezed into St Barnabas High School Auditorium in the Bronx on Friday night to hear NY Senator Charles Schumer address the ILIR immigration rally.
The overflowing crowd spilled out onto the sidewalk. Local businesses closed down for an hour as customers and staff packed into the church.
Senator Schumer was greeted with a roar of deafening cheers as he was given the traditional Irish bagpipe escort into the rally. The cheering continued as the crowd heard what the Senator had to say.
Senator Schumer predicted victory for immigration reform in 2007 and stressed the enormous part that the Irish would play in that victory.
"Without the Irish this would be very difficult to get done. The Irish are a hugely important part of the lobby on this issue. They have proved in the past how successful they can be when they address this topic and I am delighted to be working with them."
ILIR Chairman Niall O'Dowd said: "Senator Schumer's comments make it clear that this is the year for victory and that the Irish lobby will play a critical role".
"The level of support that we have received and the incredible reaction to Senator Schumer's remarks makes it clear that the Irish lobby is back in action in a big way and demanding progress.
"We will be back in Washington, we will be back in the corridors of power, we will be back to get what is rightfully ours - a fair immigration system which will allow the Irish undocumented to legalize their status and which will allow future generations of Irish to emigrate legally to the US, something they can not do at present".
ILIR Vice-Chairman Ciaran Staunton said; "I thought the roof would come off when Senator Schumer (whose nickname is Chuck) said Tiocfaidh ár lá (our day will come). It was an emotional night, one that I feel meant an awful lot to the Irish who came".
"For too long, we have been on the outsde, now we have the king of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, who delivered victory for the Democrats coming in to our community and telling us that TOGETHER WE CAN DO IT!"
Executive Director Kelly Fincham paid tribute to the volunteers, saying they were the real reason behind the ILIR's success. "Every time you show up, every time you put on the Legalize the Irish T-shirt, you make a huge impact. Twelve months ago, we were calling Senator Schumer looking for support. Now he's calling us!"
The event was deemed so significant that the editorial board of The New York Times, the US paper of record, sent a representative.