A former political prisoner who sought asylum in the US again hears he will be deported after being ordered to report to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at Newark Airport.
Malachy McAllister has been threatened with expulsion since seeking asylum in New York in 1996, and was granted a further six-month stay on deportation at the end of April. He and his family pursued asylum in the United States after he was targeted for assassination by loyalists and his home was targeted in a gun and bomb attack on his home.
Mr McAllister’s requests to stay have previously been denied over his involvement with the INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) in the 1980s.
The long-running battle over his status has left him and his family in a state of limbo for 23 years.
Earlier this year, Mr McAllister was granted a six-month stay after bipartisan intervention from politicians, including influential New York Congressman Peter King, who earlier this week announced hw will be retiring next year.
Mr McAllister said: “It is clear to me that DHS [Department of Homeland Security] wants me to suffer the indignity and the spectacle of being deported and banned from the U.S. forcing my partner and son to leave and depriving me from ever returning to the U.S. to visit my children and grandchildren.
“This is a slap in the face to Irish America and congressional leaders who have supported me and the Good Friday Agreement, especially retiring congressman Peter King who has championed my cause since 1997 and has been instrumental in bringing peace to Northern Ireland.
“We should be moving beyond recrimination.
“If I’m deported back to Ireland thirty-one years after my family and I fled for our lives it will be gut-wrenching, to say the least, and will make absolutely no sense and be profoundly unjustified.
“My family and I were lucky to survive the attempted assassination at our home in Belfast in 1988, but our journey to safety, as many know, hasn’t been easy.
“I love this country and I will do whatever it takes to remain here with my children and grandchildren and I’m asking Irish America to stay engaged and stand with me.”
* Another republican prisoner released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement now also faces deportation from America after being handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Boston.
Tyrone man Darcy McMenamin was reportedly passed to ICE officials last week after being stopped by police over a traffic offence. A long-term resident in the Boston area, he had been running a successful business.
Mr McMenamin is understood to be one of thousands of undocumented Irish who have been living in fear following a US government announcement that “millions of illegal aliens” would be removed.
He is currently in custody in Bristol County House of Corrections in Massachusetts.