The Irish in the US are a fixture. It has always been that way, and looks like it always will. For all the Irish people who have made the massive decision to leave Ireland over the centuries, to leave family and friends and a country they love, it has never been a decision they made lightly. And it is also not a decision that makes them any less Irish.
The number of people in the US that consider themselves Irish Americans is just astounding – 40 million people in the last US census proudly listed their Irish ancestry. These are the people who travel to Ireland to visit family and friends, to find their ancestors and understand where they came from. These are the people with amazing social and economic ties to Ireland.
To list all the Irish who have "made it" in the US, who have achieved the American Dream, as they say, and have made the difference, would take forever! But just scan the names of previous US Presidents, of current Senators and Representative, local politician's, business people - lots of proud Irish names on all those lists.
However, somewhere along the way, the number of US visas issued to the Irish has dwindled to an ridiculously low number. In 2005 in the Diversity visa program, out of the 48,151 issues to the entire world, Ireland received 76! Or if you look at the US visas issued to the entire world that same year, 1,122,373 visas in total, the Irish allocation was 2,088! That includes marriage, work and Diversity visas - the only 3 options open to the Irish these days.
For the current generation of young Irish people who find themselves caught in the twilight zone of being undocumented in their adopted home, the magnetism that got them here (and the millions before them) doesn't just disappear! We understand that we can, with hard work and determination, do anything in the US. That's why we're here.
We aren't going to hide and keep quiet. We've never done that! We are going to do what the Irish have always done, we are going to ignore the IRISH NEED NOT APPLY signs and stay and fight this battle. We've always given the US our best shot and we're not going to give up now!