Irish Republican News · April 14, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
McAllisters face deportation

In a decision filed on Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided against the McAllister family’s appeal against deportation.

Malachy McAllister and his family have been resident in the United States for a number of years, having fled there when unionist paramilitaries attempted to assassinate them for their political beliefs in Belfast. 

Malachy has lived, worked and raised his family in the US since that time, including after the recent death from illness of his wife.  He and his children face being deported back to Belfast, where they fear for their lives.

In a remarkably sympathetic and hard hitting opinion, Judge Maryanne Barry cited basic US principals to complain that the court was placed in a straightjacket in deciding the matter.

Unusually, he called on the Attorney General to  ”exercise his discretion and permit this deserving family to stay”.

Judge Barry expressed frustration that the court’s hands were tied despite the fact that “anti-terrorist” legislation governing this matter was never intended for people like the McAllisters who, he said, had lived as model Americans for over a decade.

“No one now suggests that Malachy poses a threat to anyone, much less to our national security, but this is a fact that Congress does not permit us to consider,” he said.

I refuse to believe that “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . .” is now an empty entreaty. But if it is, shame on us.”

Although Malachy’s children, Sean and Nicola were granted asylum, this was reversed after their mother, Sarah, died of cancer just six weeks after diagnosis and her successful asylum application, on which they had been dependent, became moot.

On Wednesday, US Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, issued a personal request to Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, urging him to exercise his discretion to allow the McAllister family to remain in the U.S.

Rep. King quoted extensively from the opinion issued by Judge Maryanne Trump Barry of the U.S. Court of Appeals in which she strongly stated that we would not be the country we should be if the family were deported because of a technical and “knee-jerk” application of post - “9-11” rules which do not justly apply to the McAllister’s situation.

In his letter to Secretary Chertoff, Rep. King states: “I am making this request to you because of my personal knowledge of Mr. McAllister who has lived in this country for more than ten years and has proven himself to be absolutely no threat whatever to this country.”

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© 2006 Irish Republican News