In This Issue The Road to Immigration Reform

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May 12, 2008 



In This Issue

The Road to Immigration Reform

Senior Helpline USA Launched in New York

Detentions and Deportations

Diaspora Conference

USCIS Updates

Quick Links

Register Now

About Us

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Dear Noreen,

This month, finally, we are seeing some exciting and positive developments in the campaign for immigration reform.  In recent weeks we heard President Obama restating his  commitment to addressing immigration reform during the first year of his Presidency.  The nation's two major labor federations have  announced that they will join forces to support an overhaul of the immigration system, and a very positive Senate hearing on immigration reform was held  by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). 

Nationally advocacy organizations are moving quickly to push forward and to mobilize communities in support of  positive reform. The Irish community across the country is joining forces to participate with the same vigor that they have shown in the past.

The Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform have been working with  Congressman Gutierrez to bring Irish voices to the Family Unity Tour. In addition to a recent rally in Chicago they have been in touch with the CIIC and Irish community representatives in Massachusetts to see if Boston can host an event for the second phase of the tour.

ILIR recently held meetings in Boston and New York to talk about their work on the E -3 visa which would help future immigrants come here legally. They also expressed optimism about recent developments on comprehensive reform and asked the Irish community to support their efforts on both of these fronts.

Please check the resources that I have included in this newsletter and add your voice to help to pass comprehensive immigration reform for America this year!


Sl? go foill,


The Road to Immigration Reform

The journey towards helping the undocumented Irish and other immigrants has begun and we are calling on everyone to join the fight for a fair and just immigration laws. During the last campaign, while the majority of Americans supported sensible reform,  supporters were badly outnumbered by anti-immigrant voices when it came calls to Capitol Hill. This time around immigrant organizations  have set up a number of excellent resources and developed  strategies to change this dynamic and help people to get involved.

It is important that those who support reasonable immigration reform let legislators know what they are thinking. There are may resources that make it easy to become involved at any level you would like some of them are listed below. Please send any other suggestions you have for inclusion in the next newsletter

What can you do to help pass immigration reform now?

Log onto theReform Immigration for America and join the campaign today. This Campaign is a national coalition of advocates and organizations from faith, labor and immigrant communities committed to winning the votes needed to enact a just and comprehensive immigration reform bill in this session of Congress. Use Facebook, Linkedin and a host of other web resources  spread the word.

On June 3rd, 4th and 5th hundreds of leaders and staff from immigrant groups across the country will convene in Washington D.C. for a Campaign Summit sponsored by the Reform Immigration for America Campaign. Participants will convene to strategize, train and be trained, and achieve important political benchmarks in the campaign.  You can register  for the event here.

Join the Center for Community Change -  Cellphone Action Network and help win Immigration Reform this year using your cell phone. Text "justice" to 69866 to receive Action Alerts on your cellphone.

Check out the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform blog to get updated information on actions in the Irish community

Contact your nearest Irish Center to find out what actions they are organizing locally and how you can become involved.

TheJustice for Immigrants Campaign website is an excellent resource with good information for organizing in your parish, calling your legislator and developing actions to support immigration reform.

America's Voice provides updated information and articles about what is happening around the country so check out their blog.

Take the first step today by signing up to support the campaign and write or call your Congressional Representatives to let them know how you feel. Go to  Reform Immigration for America to take action.

Senior Helpline USA Launched in New York

The three Irish Centers in New York have been working with the support of the Irish Consulate in New York to develop a valuable new resource for Seniors in the New York area. Mr. Niall Burgess, the Consul General, in association with the New York Irish Center, the Emerald Isle Immigration Center and the Aisling Irish Community Center  hosted reception at which Mr. Micheal Martin, T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs officially launched the Senior Helpline USA last week.

The senior helpline is entirely volunteer run, it provides opportunities for older people to call and talk to a sympathetic listener of their own age group  about common concerns and worries or just to have a friendly chat. This program will help to alleviate the isolation felt by seniors who are living alone.


The Senior  Helpline USA is staffed by trained volunteers from the Ailing Irish Community Center, the Emerald Isle Immigration Center and the New York Irish Center. If you know anyone who would benefit from this service have them call the toll free number on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

The toll free number for the helpline is 1-877-997-5777

Detentions and Deportations

In a recent ruling the  U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal identity-theft law can not be applied against many undocumented workers who used false Social Security numbers to work in the U.S. The court held that the government must establish that the person knew the identification belonged to another person in order to convict them of an aggravated felony.  The ruling should help to stop U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency's (ICE) using this controversial strategy get undocumented workers to agree to immediate deportation or boost prison sentences.

Diaspora Conference


The Government plans to host a major international conference in September aimed at encouraging the diaspora to play a role in helping the Irish economy to recover. Business figures in the Irish-American, Irish-British communities and other diaspora communities are expected to be invited to the "Farmleigh Global Irish Economic Forum". According to Minister for Foreign Affairs Miche? Martin the primary purpose of the forum will be to examine how the Irish, at home and abroad, can work together to generate ideas which will contribute to our overall efforts at economic recovery. See the Department of Foreign Affairs press release for more information.

USCIS Updates

A good resource for Irish Centers is the  Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) who provides recommendations for resolving problems with USCIS.  "How Is It Working For You?"  is the CIS Ombudsman's Community Call-In Teleconference Series. It provides a forum to hear issues of concern to individuals and employers as they interact with USCIS.

The ombudsman is hosting a  Teleconference - " USCIS Change of Address: How Is It Working For You?", May 26, 2009, 2-3 p.m. EDT that may be of interest to Irish Centers. Information on how to join this call and others may be found on the DHS website

The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (CIIC) is a national umbrella group for all of the Irish Immigration Centers in the US. The CIIC was established in 1996 to promote the welfare of Irish immigrants in the US at a national level. 

Sheila Gleeson

Executive Director 

Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers

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