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Legalise the Irish

legalize the irish crowdThis past Saturday hundreds of people gathered in Dublin to protest for the rights for Irish illegals in the USA.

I challenge you to find mention of it in today’s papers.

The protest is not soley concerned with the 50,000 Irish illegals stateside, nor is it a protest against the Irish government. The protest is actually a protest for overall immigration reform in the US . . . and it seems to be gaining traction stateside. The precepts are that, illegals in the states who register themselves should receive a work visa in return for paying taxes on their income for the years they have been working in the states.

This is not just about amnesty – it’s about resolving a situation wherein the US government and illegal immigrants are both unhappy. At the moment, illegals in the states are trapped – if they should attempt to leave the US they face criminal charges and jail time. Some are students who have overstayed their J-1 by a few weeks and are afraid to leave. At the other end of the spectrum you have families and children living stateside for decades who have been effectively cut off from social services, not to mention seeing family back in their home countries. The new legislation will allow illegals who wish to leave the chance to do so without facing arrest as well as those who have made a life stateside the opportunity to pay their dues, get on the road to legal citizenship and, of course, visit home.

The Irish focus of the campaign, though it addresses all illegal immigrants, seems to be working in its favour. Hillary Clinton and John McCain have both voiced support for the Legalize the Irish campaign. Niall O’Dowd, publisher of the Irish Voice newspaper and chair of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform rubs shoulders with the likes of John McCain, Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. He says, “The key is to have sympathetic politicians of the same ethnic background.”

George Bush spoke on immigration reform last week, saying he is looking forward to passing an immigration reform bill into law some time this year.

This is important stuff, how come it’s not in the Irish news?