Irish Republican News · October 29, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Irish immigrants threatened by US bill
A group of leading Irish Americans has issued a joint letter of protest concerning the plight of Irish immigrants living in the United States.

The letter -- a response to the ill-treatment of Irish immigrants following a change of security laws -- has been sent to representatives in both legislative houses, the Senate and Congress. It is published below.


The Irish American community is extremely concerned about the extraneous provisions in House Bill HR 10 that go beyond the 9-11 Commission's recommendations. We write to express our strong opposition to these controversial provisions, which directly threaten the Irish in America.

Under HR 10, Irish immigrants in the US (including permanent residents) would be deportable for pure speech -- for saying anything the government says endorses terrorist activity or endorses support for a terrorist organization, and for mere membership. Thus, an Irish permanent resident that defends the right of the Irish Republican Army to use weapons, even against military targets only, would be deportable. This bill sets up a dangerous standard of guilt by association, rendering people deportable for wholly lawful and peaceful activity if it supports any group that has engaged in the use of weapons, or has threatened to use weapons.

Furthermore, HR 10 contains court stripping provisions that make it much more difficult for Irish deportees to get stays and appeals. It expands "expedited removal" to allow for deportation without a hearing, and without judicial review, of any non-citizen anywhere in the U.S. that an immigration officer says was not lawfully admitted and has been physically present less than 5 years.

This bill is a threat to our democracy. For centuries Irish immigrants have come over to the US, either fleeing persecution or looking for new opportunity. Tens of millions of Irish immigrants helped build this country, voiced their political opinions, and contributed to our democracy. We must not pass any legislation infringing on their ability to continue their contribution.

Anti-immigrant provisions and expansions of the Patriot Act were not recommended by the 9-11 Commission and have no place in this bill. We join with the 9-11 Commission, and the many 9-11 families in asking you to remove these extraneous provisions and pass a bi- partisan bill that follows the actual recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.

Yours Sincerely,

Judge Andrew Somers (ret.)
National President
Irish American Unity Conference

Deanna Turner
National Coordinator
Irish Deportees of America Committee

Paul Doris
National Chair
Irish Northern Aid

Fr. Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus

Ned McGinley
National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians

Edmund Lynch
National Coordinator
Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland

Jerome Edward Boyle, Esq.
Attorney at Law

Nadya Connolly Williams
Global Exchange Study Tour Coordinator for
The north of Ireland

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© 2004 Irish Republican News