The annual meeting of the Coalition, this year held in Boston, coincided with the emergence and then collapse of a Senate agreement aimed at forging a bill that would include a path to earned legalization for undocumented and illegal immigrants, many thousands of Irish among them.
The campaign for justice for hardworking immigrants will go on,” coalition president, Bart Murphy, said.
“This issue is critical. It cannot be dropped or pushed to the side and the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers is committed to ensuring a positive outcome that will provide a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants in the U.S.,” Murphy said.
The Boston meeting was attended by representatives from more than a dozen Irish immigration and advice centers in U.S. cities and was addressed by Irish government minister Noel Treacy.
Dublin’s support for the undocumented Irish was acknowledged by Bart Murphy who also thanked those groups and organizations working for comprehensive immigration reform.
The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers was founded in 1996 and works as a national umbrella organization for Irish immigrant advice and pastoral centers in the U.S.
Meanwhile, with the Senate still in Easter recess, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will be holding a national PhoneAThon on Thursday, April 20. Details from irishlobbyusa.org. New York volunteers should contact Mary at (718)324 7350.
KING BACKS MCALLISTER
Congressman Peter King wants Malachy McAllister and his family to be allowed their American dream.
King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has written Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff urging his intervention on behalf of the Balfast native and his children.
A federal appeals court recently ruled against McAllister’s plea against deportation, but one of the appeals judges, Maryanne Trump Barry, indicated that she would have ruled otherwise if the law allowed sufficient flexibility in the case.
King stated that in a response to previous letters, the department had indicated that it had discretion in the case once the court had finalized its decision.
“I respectfully request you exercise this discretion by taking quick action to suspend the deportation proceedings against Malachy McAllister and his family,” King wrote Chertoff.
“Because I believe that, in fact, the Secretary of Homeland Security has this discretion, I am writing you to permit the McAllister family to stay in the country,” King wrote.
McAllister, King stated, had shown himself to be “no threat whatever to this country.”
RAY DOOLEY EULOGIZED
Ray Dooley was a political manager from a city that stood out for its unique practice of the art.
And the man who helped make former Boston mayor Ray Flynn a nationally recognized political figure was remembered for his political acumen and commitment to social justice at his funeral in Ireland last week.
Dooley, who was just 54, had moved to Ireland a number of years ago. He was married to Anne Rowland, a leading Irish lawyer, and was and the father of three children. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer.
In a eulogy, former congressman Joe Kennedy described Dooley as a man always in search of ways to live out his ideals.
Dooley, said Kennedy, had established himself as one of the top political operatives in the U.S.
“He had a reputation for being tough, direct, and supremely political in the best sense of the word. He knew how to get things done,” Kennedy said.
“Under Ray, Boston became one of the first cities in the country to divest itself of companies doing business in South Africa and penalize firms refusing to commit to the MacBride Principles to end discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland,” Kennedy told mourners at the funeral in Howth, Co. Dublin.