Irish Echo Front PageToday, the Irish Echo carried a front page article regarding the possibility of U.S. visa waivers for the Irish undocumented living in the U.S.

ILIR initially learned in 2011 that citizens of Mexico who had overstayed and faced similar 3- and 10 year bars, were being granted thousands of visa waivers. We shared this information with the Irish government and the Irish Embassy in the U.S. at that time.

Visa waivers allowed undocumented Mexican citizens to return to Mexico and pick up their legal documentation, at the U.S. consular offices in Mexico and return to work in the U.S. legally, without any ban being imposed.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/07/06/world/americas/immigration.html

Since the publication of this article, ILIR has been relentlessly pursing similar visa waivers for the Irish undocumented, including writing to and meeting with the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley.

ILIR estimates that the visa waivers would benefit approximately 25% of the Irish undocumented currently in the U.S. The waivers would not require any vote in Congress or the Senate, nor does it need Presidential approval. These administrative waivers are distributed at U.S. embassies globally, and are at the discretion of the U.S. Embassy.

Here are the top six countries that received visa waivers in 2014: Mexico, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Australia, Bermuda, Columbia, Norway and  New Zealand.

ILIR will continue to pursue these visa waivers for the Irish undocumented.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ambassador Kevin O'Malley, Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, ILIR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, New York - March 9, 2015 - Today, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) sent a letter to the Embassy of the United States of America in Dublin requesting the Ambassador waive the 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars for undocumented Irish living in the U.S. The waiver would enable the Irish who would otherwise be barred from returning to the states for 3 or 10 years upon traveling outside of the United States, a chance to begin the legal process of residency in the U.S. without being sidelined for the 3 or 10 years.

Ciaran Staunton, President of the ILIR stated that “There is already a precedent for this waiver in operation at the U.S. mission in Mexico. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued over 50,000 waivers in 2011 to Mexicans who were eligible for the 10 year bar because they had previously overstayed but who wanted to regularize their status in the U.S. The Irish American community is asking for parity for Irish overstays who want to regularize their status in the U.S.”

The waiver program is currently active at the U.S. embassy in Mexico. In 2011 was used to issue 58,000 waivers to Mexicans who were looking to re-enter the country legally but had faced the unlawful presence bar.

The ILIR greatly looks forward to action from the Embassy on waivers. Below is the letter in full text:

 

The Honorable Kevin F. O’Malley
American Ambassador
U.S. Embassy Dublin
42 Elgin Road
Ballsbridge
Dublin 4
March 9, 2015

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

My name is Ciaran Staunton, I am the president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform based in New York City. I hope that you are enjoying your time in Ireland. We met at your swearing in ceremony by Vice President Joe Biden, on September 30. I look forward to meeting you again in Washington, D.C. at the White House St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

As a follow-on to our conversation in September regarding undocumented Irish in the U.S., I would formally ask you to implement a waiver policy, removing the current obstacle of the 3- and 10-year bars for Irish undocumented citizens in this country.  Implementing this waiver would allow thousands of Irish citizens to regularize their status in this country through legal processes currently unavailable to them.  They lack the ability to regularize due to the current policy of 3- and-10 year application restrictions if they were to return to Ireland to apply for status in the U.S.

Of the many Irish undocumented citizens here in the U.S., it is estimated that over 25 per cent of them could re-enter the country legally with a regularized status through sponsorship or investment if the 3- and 10-year bars are waived at the embassy in Dublin.

The Executive Action that President Obama has unveiled will have a small impact on the Irish community in the U.S.

As we discussed in our last conversation, there is already a precedent for this waiver in operation at the U.S. mission in Mexico. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued over 58,000 waivers in 2012 to Mexicans who were eligible for the 3- and-10 year bar because they had previously overstayed but who wanted to regularize their status in the U.S.

I see no obvious reason why the same could not be achieved for Irish citizens.

As the grandson of County Mayo immigrants, this could be a momentous occasion/achievement for you and many Irish-Americans: reopening the doors to the United States for the Irish and allowing Irish immigrants to once again have the opportunity to fully embrace the American Dream, as your Grandparents did.

I welcome the opportunity to continue our conversation on this important issue that impacts a significant number of Irish citizens now on U.S. soil. Please feel free to contact me.

 

Ciaran Staunton
President
Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform

 

 

Contact:
ilir.ny@gmail.com

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Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform

 

We welcome President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration and we are delighted for those who will soon find themselves in a new legal status.

We intend to lobby hard to ensure that the advance parole conditions for travel to Ireland are as favorable as possible for those who seek it and to also ensure that regulations covering the executive order are easy to navigate and understand. We will also act to ensure that proper legal advice, that does not financially exploit those seeking it, is given.

However, we are very conscious that a large number of individuals will not be able to take advantage of President Obama’s action, in particular those who have lived in America for five years but do not have children (single people with no children, childless couples, LGBT couples with no children etc.).

When we founded the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, it was with the purpose of achieving meaningful reform for all members of our community.

With this in mind, we welcome President Obama’s actions.

The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will continue to seek reform for those individuals without children and those eligible for sponsorship and investor visas who run the risk of a ten year ban if they return to Ireland to process these visas.

We will also pursue the E3 visa option which is still very much on our agenda and would end the shameful situation where there is essentially a no Irish need apply sign for those wishing to emigrate legally to America.

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Irish American leaders from across the United States traveled to Washington for a hugely successful lobby day.

The group, consisting of 50 delegates from fifteen key states, met with GOP members of the House to urge immediate action on Immigration Reform. The Irish delegates focused their meetings on GOP House members from Virginia, New Jersey, New York, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, Washington State, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California and Texas. The Irish American leaders called on Republican representatives from their home districts to support immigration reform. The leaders detailed the number of Irish American voters in each district of the House members they visited.

Irish Lobby For Immigration Reform, Immigration, No Irish Need Apply, 1965 Immigration Act, JFK, Ronald Reagan, Irish America

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Irish Lobby For Immigration Reform, Immigration, No Irish Need Apply, 1965 Immigration Act, JFK, Ronald Reagan, Irish America

 

 

Irish Lobby For Immigration Reform, Immigration, No Irish Need Apply, 1965 Immigration Act, JFK, Ronald Reagan, Irish America

 

 

 

 

 

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ILIR Lobby Day in DC

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