Monday, March 17, 2008

"Undocumented Irish Are Not So Lucky"

"Today's undocumented Irish are not so lucky," Emmy Award-winning actress Fionnula Flanagan said at this year's St. Patrick's event honoring the Top 100 Irish Americans. Flanagan knows how easily a person can fall out of status from her experience as an undocumented immigrant in the United States. (Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform). Flanagan called on Irish Americans to contact their legislators and support immigration reform.

Irish Share Struggle with Recent Immigrants

Flanagan recognized the shared struggle for fair immigration policies. "Over the years, when asked, I have lent my name and whatever support I could to a variety of organizations in southern California which have championed sanctuary and the rights of immigrants who come largely from Central America. Their struggle is not easy and the bias against them is horrendous," she said.

"We must not turn our backs on people because it is not fashionable to support them. We must not forget those who are less fortunate than ourselves," said Flanagan.

"Newcomers should be welcomed and embraced by our community, not pushed to the fringes. Ask the Irish about that one," wrote Sister Susan Lena Deevy, Executive Director of the Irish Immigration Center in the Boston Herald.

Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform Meets with White House

According to the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, there are an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants in the United States. Representatives of the group recently met with top-level White House advisors to press for action on immigration policies.