By Ray O’Hanlon
It was sidelined by the events of Sept. 11, but the House of Representatives has now resurrected 245i, the immigration provision that gives undocumented immigrants a chance to secure a green card.
The House voted by 275 to 137 votes in favor of an amended version of the provision last week.
That version will now go to the Senate for final approval because it contains elements of a separate House bill aimed at strengthening immigration controls at America’s borders.
The Senate is expected to give its nod of approval after which 245i will come into effect for a four-month period after the Justice Department issues the regulations needed to apply the provision’s various parts.
Under 245I, an eligible undocumented or illegal immigrant will be able to apply for permanent residency assuming he or she has a suitable family or employer sponsor.
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An applicant will also have to pay a $1,000 fine to the Immigration and Naturalization Service and must have been already present in the U.S. as of December 2000.
5 on plane detained, released
Five passengers on board an Aer Lingus flight into New York last Friday were briefly detained by Port Authority police when the plane landed at Kennedy Airport.
The five had become abusive toward other passengers and cabin crew when the possibility of a diversion to Boston was announced on board, this as a result of weather-induced delays at JFK.
“An incident then occurred in which the five became abusive toward fellow passengers and members of the cabin crew,” an Aer Lingus spokesman told the Echo.
“The captain was alerted and he in turn alerted the police at Kennedy.”
The plane, Flight EI105 out of Dublin, was able to land at JFK and the five were taken off the aircraft by Port Authority officers.
“They were suitably humbled as a result and then released,” the Aer Lingus spokesman said.
S.F. tour a 200K success
Friends of Sinn FTin was this week heralding the St. Patrick’s week U.S. and Canadian tour by Sinn FTin leaders as a success.
Five party leaders, including Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness appeared at sold out events from coast to coast and north of the border, according to FOSF president Larry Downes.
Adams himself said he had “great fun” attending events in Scranton, Pa., Philadelphia and Covington, Ky.
FOSF raised roughly $100,000 at the Phildelphia event alone, Larry Downes said.
Adams covered both coasts while McGuinness concentrated on Midwest cities, including Chicago and Cleveland.
In Oakland, Calif., Adams had a street named after him in a ceremony presided over by mayor and former California governor Jerry Brown. Adams also presided at a reception aboard the onetime FDR yacht, “The Potomac” in the waters off San Francisco.
Downes said that FOSF was hopeful that the total raised during the St. Patrick’s period by Adams, McGuinness, Pat Doherty, Bairbre de Brun and Gerry Kelly would be in the region of $200,000.
Hillary for Ireland
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is Ireland bound again. The former first lady will be crossing the Atlantic before the end of the month on a mission to promote economic ties between Ireland and New York State.
Clinton said that she would be bringing business and university leaders, particularly from upstate New York, to Ireland in order to promote greater trade and investment.
Clinton was invited to Ireland by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. She had intended to travel last fall but postponed the trip in the aftermath of 9/11. She will be in Ireland March 25-27.
IAR back Hard
The Irish American Republicans lobby group is backing Judy Hard to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York.
Hard is currently executive deputy commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
In a statement, IAB said that Hard, whose Irish family roots are in County Louth, would make a great U.S. attorney “who will prosecute terrorists, organized crime gangsters and drug kingpins to the fullest extent of the law.”
Hard recently headed up Gov. Pataki’s World Trade Center relief fund. Pataki’s Irish roots, as it happens, are also in Louth.