Friday, April 27, 2007

DONEGAL NEWS: Letterkenny Town Council backs lobby for undocumented Irish in America

Town Council backs lobby for 'undocumented'

MEMBERS of Letterkenny Town Council have added their support for the undocumented Irish in America. The Council has agreed to write to the American Embassy in Dublin expressing their support for the overhaul of US Immigration Policy.

At Monday night's Town Council meeting Councillor Gerry McMonagle proposed the motion which received the unanimous support of his council colleagues. Cllr McMonagle said with over 50,000 undocumented Irish in America 'it was a massive issue'.

Over 1,000 Donegal people took part in a rally in Dublin at the weekend to highlight the plight of undocumented family members in the US, he said.

"I think it is vital that as a council we are seen to be supporting their cause. These people are paying their taxes and contributing to the American economy yet they are always looking around their shoulder for fear of being deported. They can't attend funerals and at the weekend we heard of one man who was 18 years in the US when he was deported while travelling to his work one day," he said.

"These people are helping to build and maintain the American economy and we must do all we can to support the Irish lobby for Immigration Reform," Cllr McMonagle added.

Cllr Dessie Larkin said the Donegal Association in New York was fully behind the lobby for reform and said as a local authority the council could make its support known through the American Embassy.

"There are thousands of undocumented Donegal people in cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia and they live in fear every day of being deported. They're paying their taxes and contribute massively to the economy and are not on social welfare. We've all heard the stories about their inability to return home," he said.


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