Undocumented residents from Ireland will join D.C. rally in push for more work-based visas.
By Susan Ferriss - Bee Staff WriterPublished 12:00 am PST Monday, February 26, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO-In a cozy room above a Russian market and a Shanghai-style restaurant, an Irish nanny gently rocked an American baby.
When the nanny reveals that she hails from the Emerald Isle, she said, American citizens are usually warm and welcoming and many speak proudly of their own Irish heritage.
They don't suspect her secret. They'd never imagine that the San Francisco nanny feels a special bond with millions of others, most from Latin America or Asia, who are illegal immigrants -- just as she is.
"The Irish are a bit luckier. We speak English, and we tend to get the better jobs," said the $17-an-hour, full-time nanny. She requested anonymity because she feared she and her 8-year-old son could be located and deported.
Next month, in what some call a critical turning point for their cause, the nanny and more than 150 other undocumented Irish and supporters from California will travel to Washington, D.C., to join a rally on March 7 outside Congress.
Donning "Legalize the Irish" T-shirts, they are expected to join thousands to lobby Congress for an increase in work-based immigrant visas and enactment of a program for undocumented workers to earn legal status. They have powerful allies on Capitol Hill, and they hope to woo more.
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