Monday, March 03, 2008

ILIR at the White House

The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform ramped up their campaign in the US on Friday with a meeting in the White House with Ed Gillespie, the top advisor to President George W Bush.

Pictured left to right are; ILIR Executive Director Kelly Fincham, Vice-Chairman Ciaran Staunton, White House Counsellor Mr Gillespie, Chairman Niall O'Dowd, and ILIR Consultant Bruce Morrison.

We met Mr Gillespie to discuss a limited immigration reform package which could include an Irish element among its provisions. Chairman Niall O'Dowd said the meeting, which was set up by senior figures in the Republican Party in the US, was one of the most positive developments in recent times.

"We had a very constructive meeting at the White House with the President's top adviser, Ed Gillespie," he said.

"We had a wide-ranging discussion on Irish immigration and we made a concrete proposal to the White House which they have agreed to consider.

"Mr Gillespie was extremely knowledgeable on the issue and we look forward to future meetings with the White House," he said.

Mr Gillespie is the highest-ranking assistant to President Bush and is believed to be the "Mr Fixit" at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Mr Gillespie, whose father emigrated from Donegal, began his career on Capitol Hill as a parking attendant at the Senate car park.

In 2006, Mr Gillespie penned a Wall Street Journal editorial in support of a comprehensive immigration reform package in which he said: "The Republican Party cannot become an anti-immigration party."

Mr Gillespie, who assumed some of former Karl Rove's job in the White House, has been widely praised for his role in orchestrating a rapid-response PR unit dedicated to helping sell the "surge" in the Iraq war in the US.


Anonymous said...

Thank you ILIR, for continuing to work so diligently on our behalf. The Irish government has only ever paid our situation lip service and has done little to solve the problem.
But you at the ILIR seems to have a much better understanding of the situation, the people involved and how to work collectively towards the solution.
Please keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I too agree with the last writer. Thank you ILIR for not giving up on us,without hope...we have nothing!

Anonymous said...

thank you for all your hard work on our behalf we all have a voice through you.keep up the good work.we need to keep hope and faith.

Anonymous said...

keep up all the good work to help us. thank you.

Anonymous said...

lets give these two faced irish politicians the chilly welcome they deserve on st pats when they traipse out here in san francisco ,new york or wherever they slither in to....lets let them know that we know.

Anonymous said...

Citizenship Blues

"... You can tell a country’s priorities from what works and where the money goes. With billions for border and workplace enforcement, the government has been rushing to impose ever more sophisticated and intrusive means to keep immigrants out. Yet it continues to tolerate a creaky, corrosively inept system for welcoming immigrants in — an underperforming bureaucracy that takes their money and makes them wait, with a chronic indolence that is just another form of hostility.

SF Knows said...

Wow this sounds very familiar. 'Irish government leaves emigrants high and dry'. Remember Irish workers who flooded into London in the 50's and 60's many of whom were exploited, drinking themselves into an early grave and a large group of them now living out their lives in squalor and in fear of returning to an Ireland they no longer know.

Preventative measures taken out by previous Irish governments to address issues of alcoholism and re-integration would have helped many of these emigrants.

Undocumented Irish in the US will know not a dissimilar fate if more is not done to legalize their situation. It has become incredibly toxic towards the undocumented in the US, Irish citizens are facing crippling challenges.

They are essentially free ambassadors for Ireland in the most influential country in the world and they are being painted as mere chancers by people who don't have the impetus to get up off their behind and try make it in the world.

It is imperative that Bertie Ahern apply more pressure where he can and not dismiss this issue as a lost cause. Its insulting to Irish people everywhere that the chief representative of Ireland can dismiss an issue like this so easily. But then again out of sight out of mind Bertie? I would not be so sure!

ILIR good for you to go your own path and change the reality we face here, and thank you Irish government for trying your best!?

Anonymous said...

I just returned to Ireland .There is very little work in the building here now. The average wage is around 400 after tax you need about 800 a week just to be house poor.It has rain every day for the last 2 weeks .Most of the jobs the goverment rants about creating are part time or in shops for very poor money STICK IT OUT THERE IF YOU CAN not much over here

Anonymous said...

The arrogance and ignorance of the Irish government never ceases to amaze me.
Why do they continue to ignore the situation of the undocumented Irish in the US, when its within their ability to solve the situation, once and for all.
Can they not see that now, especially now, since the Celtic Tiger is officially dead, that the immigrant Irish will need somewhere to go? And soon?
Do they honestly not realize that the exodus from Ireland has started again? Its blatantly obvious around here that the Irish are back and they are looking for work. And guess what, they'll find plenty of it here.
I know 4 different people in Ireland who have lost their jobs in the last 3 weeks and it runs the gamut - young/old, male/female, city/rural, graduate/apprentice/professional.
Each and every one of them has had enough - they've tried their best, they enjoyed the good times but the signs are on the wall that things in Ireland are going to get a lot worse before they get any better. And, since the government has squandered the surplus on pay rises for themselves, tribunals and all the rest, it means that, not only is there no safety net left for the country, it means everything else is getting worse by the day. The health care, education, transportation and policing in Ireland is now so underfunded that hospitals and garda stations are closing, traffic jams so bad you could cry, public transport is terrible and simply doesn't work and there's major overcrowding in underfunded schools all over the country. The cost of living in Ireland is high and the standard of living is slipping, housing is overpriced (which will cause its own set of problems with foreclosures etc) and the Irish government continues to delude themselves that everything is still fine? Are they kidding??

I wish they were.

The Irish government was elected to serve the people of Ireland, and I'd like to remind them that that also includes the diaspora, both documented and undocumented.