By Patrick Markey
Five Irish nationals were deported from Philadelphia last week after Immigration and Naturalization Service officers raided two businesses, immigration officials said this week.
The May 18 raids on the Marlane Diner and the Irish Coffee Shop in the Upper Darby section of Philadelphia followed several leads that employees were working illegally, Carl Rusnok, a spokesman for the INS Philadelphia district office said.
Four of those deported were from the Republic and one was from the North. All had arrived in the U.S. under the visa waiver pilot program, Rusnok said.
Bob McCarthy, the owner of the Irish Coffee shop, said two of the women from the restaurant, one from Donegal and another from County Tyrone, were being handcuffed when 18-year-old Kevin Garrety walked in with another man to order food. Garrety had only been in the United States for three days before his arrest, McCarthy said. The two men had reportedly just left a truck belonging to the Murray Stucco business outside the restaurant when they were arrested, according to Rusnok.
Rusnok said standard procedure does not allow officers to question people not working at the particular worksite being raided. But, he said, officers can question people and ask for immigration papers if they have “probable cause,” such as a “strong accent.”
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Eamonn Dornan, legislative director for the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in New York, said these raids were a manifestation of the changes in immigration policy over the last two years. There have been increased investigations in cities with high immigrant populations, he said.
“We haven’t seen that in New York just yet, but it’s reasonable to assume that it might happen here sooner or later. It’s a worrying development.” Dornan said.