US Urgent Action Appeal
US Urgent Action Appeal

The following action alert was issued on behalf of the McAllister family, which is facing deportation from the US, and is supported by a number of Irish-American organisations.

Malachy McAllister and his two youngest children are facing deportation when the suspension of their order of removal expires in September. They have been advised that a private bill in the Senate would be their only hope to remain in New Jersey. Without it Malachy, Sean and Nicola will be deported and separated from Gary and Jamie McAllister and their families.


Please call the Senator’s NJ office at 973-639-8700 AND his DC office at 202-224-3224 and leave the following message:

To help the McAllister’s our efforts must be focused to contact the offices of Senator Frank Lautenberg. Our phone calls will demonstrate the importance of this issue.

Malachy McAllister and his two youngest children are facing deportation when the suspension of their order of removal expires in September. They have been advised by Congressman Steve Rothman that a private bill in the Senate, similar to one attempted by Mr. Rothman in the House, would be their only hope to remain in New Jersey with the older McAllister children and their families.

My name is _______________________________

I am calling from __________________________

I am calling to ask for Senator Lautenberg’s support to prevent the deportation of Malachy McAllister and his children Sean and Nicola. Please Senator Frank Lautenberg introduce a private bill in the US Senate that would grant permanent resident status to this deserving family. Thank you.


The McAllister’s are political refugees from thr North of Ireland who have been resident in the United States for a number of years, having fled for their lives from their homeland when pro-British loyalists attempted to assassinate them due to their political beliefs. After living and working and raising their family in this country since that time, they now find themselves in danger of being denied political asylum and of being deported to Belfast, where they fear for their lives.

Malachy, like so many others of his generation, served time in a British prison after becoming involved in conflict with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), a sectarian paramilitary organization in the guise of a civilian police force. He shares this history with many other Irishmen of his generation and previous ones, large numbers of whom fled here over the years to start a new life and became part of the fabric of American society.

McAllister served over three years in prison and was released in 1985.

In 1988, masked gunmen fired 26 shots into the McAllisters’ home while three of their four children were inside with their grandmother. Soon after, the McAllisters moved to Toronto, and from there, to New Jersey in 1996.

Despite the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish peace process, which the McAllisters strongly support, Malachy McAllister is facing deportation.

Although the entire family requested political asylum because they knew their lives would be in danger if they returned to their hometown of Belfast, an immigration judge ordered in late 2000 that Malachy McAllister be deported, while granting asylum to his wife because she suffered extreme persecution. McAllister appealed his denial and the government appealed the asylum granted to his wife.

Just before Thanksgiving, 2003, while McAllister was attending a meeting at the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Donald Payne, an incoming cell phone call relayed the message that the Board of Immigration Appeals not only had ordered his immediate deportation, but also had revoked the asylum status of his wife and children.

McAllister immediately filed motions with an appeals court in Philadelphia, and won a temporary stay of his deportation, although not of his detention. The same court, however, had ruled in favor of deportation of another Irish political refugee, John Edward McNicholl, under circumstances similar to Malachy’s, and refused to hear an appeal to suspend McNicholl’s deportation, and in April, 2006.

Malachy had become, by this time, a well respected and welcome member of the Irish American community. That community was outraged at what was viewed as an attempt to blind-side Malachy and his supporters by spiriting him out of the country on Thanksgiving weekend when it was apparently assumed that that the deed wouldn’t be noticed until it was too late to take action.

Galvanized by this, and the recent bitter experiences of John McNicholl’s deportation, and the unjust incarceration of yet another political emigre, Ciaran Ferry, since January 30, 2003, the family experienced, as Malachy says a “an enormous groundswell of support from the Irish-American community, and from groups like the IAUC and AOH in particular.”

Malachy stated that “we have witnessed the result of democracy in action. Without the support of Irish-America, our Representatives and Senators, and without the media shining a light on this case, I have no doubt but that I would have been arrested, shackled and shipped out to face my persecutors. Bernie and I have only ever sought the chance to raise our family in an atmosphere free from fear and bigotry, and give them opportunities that were denied us.”

He went on to say: “we still have a lot of work to do until this government recognizes that my family, and other Irish nationals in similar situations, present no danger to the safety and security of the United States. We must keep moving toward that goal, but today has been a significant victory for democracy and justice.”

From Thanksgiving, through the middle of January, 2004, the McAllister family had been on what they call an “emotional rollercoaster”, coming within a hair’s breath of deportation on a number of occasions before obtaining legal relief by way of last minute stays, the latest being by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, while their appeal is heard.

Sadly, the family suffered another blow when, On her 46th birthday in May, 2004, Bernadette McAllister died, just six weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. With the tragic and sudden death of Bernadette McAllister, her children are in imminent danger of deportation to Ireland where their lives would be in jeopardy.

The US Immigration and Naturalization Service is still trying to send Malachy McAllister and his children back to Ireland where their lives would be in grave danger and they could be murdered by a death squad.

Urgent Appeal

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© 2007 Irish Republican News