SPRING 06 / VOL. 6 ISSUE 4
Point/Counterpoint: 
Opinions Offered on Immigration

Regular Republican Club Decries Irish Parliamentarian’s Statement on U.S. Immigration Legislation 

By Patrick Hurley
President, Regular Republican Club 
Queens County Executive, GOP

The statement uttered by Michael Woods, T.D., chairman of the Irish parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, regarding the Sennsenbrenner/King Immigration Bill H.R. 4437, is highly offensive, deeply insensitive and totally inappropriate.

On Feb 19, Michael Woods, T.D., in referring to the Sensenbrenner/King bill, described the legislation "as a reaction to 9/11 . . . but this is an over reaction." 

Sept. 11 was not an inconvenient aberration, as Mr. Woods flippantly implies. It was a cowardly, devastating attack on the United States, in which thousands of our citizens died, a good number of them Irish Americans. It was also a declaration of war on Western civilization, which, once again, the United States, as the arsenal of democracy and freedom, bears the brunt of defending. Mr. Woods should apologize to those thousands, especially those Irish Americans, who lost loved ones and friends on that day of infamy. 

For 40 years, since the 1965 Kennedy Immigration Act, U.S. immigration policy has been totally chaotic and completely at odds with our cultural, economic and security interests. This emasculating situation finally realized its potential on Sept. 11, when it was exploited by Middle Eastern terrorists to plan and launch their cowardly attack. Investigations, subsequent to 9/11, which have successfully thwarted more attacks, have revealed how our dysfunctional immigration system has been further exploited by terrorists. 

We are confident that we speak for all Irish American Republicans, indeed for all Republicans, Conservatives and conservative Democrats, when we laud Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Rep. Peter King of New York, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, for their courage, integrity and initiative in crafting this excellent piece of legislation. In this time of war , HR 4437 will be an indispensable defensive tool. It will go a long way towards securing our borders, our interior and in keeping our citizens safe. 

It is highly inappropriate for Mr. Woods, as the representative of a foreign parliament to attempt to overtly influence the legislative process of the U.S. Congress, or to frustrate Americans in our endeavors to protect our country. As Ireland begins to wrestle with its own domestic immigration challenges, perhaps Mr. Woods’ constituents should consider the adverse security implications for them of his flippant and reckless attitude to the concept of illegal immigration, in the post Sept. 11 environment. 

Mr. Woods implies that the solution to the illegal Irish problem is the maintenance of a limbo situation, where undocumented Irish immigrants are allowed to continue to exist outside the law, in the netherworld of illegal status. Unlike Mr. Woods, we believe that the solution to the problem is legislation that would correct the discriminatory effects of the 1965 Kennedy Immigration Act, which effectively shut the Irish, Italians and Polish and others out of the United States. Such legislation must also regularize the status of undocumented immigrants from those countries and eventually allow them to enjoy the privileges and assume the obligations of U.S. citizenship. 

Rep. Peter King, the co-author of HR 4437, is a true friend of Ireland. Long before the Good Friday Agreement, Pete King was standing shoulder to shoulder with the nationalist people of the Northern Irish statelet, when politicians in Dublin, London and Hyannisport were running for cover. We are confident that with sincere friends like Pete King in our corner, we can resolve the undocumented Irish problem, once and for all, within the context of restructuring our immigration policy to address critical U.S. cultural, economic and security interests. Too many Irish Americans died on Sept.. 11, and have died in the ongoing war against radical Islam, for us to accept anything less. 

Ultimately, the undocumented Irish problem is an issue for Irish Americans, as U.S. citizens, to resolve, We appreciate any support that the Irish Government, or Irish representatives, can render us, within the parameters of diplomatic norms, but, ultimately, it is an issue for American citizens. Inappropriate interventions like that of Mr. Woods will only hinder rather than help. 


British, Irish Governments Asked to Pledge Determination to Get Status for Irish Immigrants Living in America. 

By Alasdair McDonnell, MP
SDLP Deputy Leader

The Irish and British Governments must work together to put pressure on the American government to give due status to Irish people, whether from the North or the South, living in the US illegally. 

It is a duty on all political representatives on this island to protect the rights of Irish people living in the United States of America. Together we must persuade American politicians to recognize the valuable contribution Irish people make to their economy and community life. We must ask them to do all in their power to maintain the strong links between Ireland and America. The best way to do this is by backing the Kennedy/McCain Immigration Bill which would provide for a route to legality for undocumented people.

While the number of illegals is estimated at 25,000, this completely that is not even taking into account the thousands of people from the North living in the States. 

I urged both governments to work together with all representatives on this island to pursue this goal. Both Dermot Ahern and Peter Hain understood the concerns of thousands families who have loved ones working and living in America. They listened to our ideas on how to go forward on this issue. 

Over the coming months, the SDLP will be working with all elected representatives on this island to secure rights for Irish illegals..."




 

IRSC Issues May Day Solidarity Statement 

The Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America issue solidarity greetings to our comrades and fellow workers around the world on the working class holiday of May Day, also known as International Workers' Day. In your fight against oppression, exploitation, and imperialism, and even your daily struggle to survive in an increasingly impoverished world, we salute you.

As the North American section of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, we extend our greetings to our comrades and fellow members of the IRSM in the Irish Republican Socialist Party, Irish National Liberation Army, Republican Socialist Youth Movement, Republican Socialist Martyrs Flute Bands, Teach Na Failte, and the James Connolly Society. We reiterate that we remain committed to the movement and its struggle for national and class liberation.

On behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, we also extend solidarity greetings to our comrades and fellow workers around the world, in particular the following organizations and individuals:

All-African People's Revolutionary Party, All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee, Communist League, Communist Party of Cuba, Communist Party of Nepal, Communist Party of the Philippines, Communist Party of Spain (Reconstituted), Concerned Group for Republican Prisoners, Debs Tendency of the Socialist Party USA, Free People's Movement, Freedom Socialist Party, Irish Freedom Committee, Irish prisoner of war Aiden Hulme and all other Irish prisoners of war resisting criminalization, Na Claiomhte Solais, Northeastern Federation of Anarchist Communists, Organization of Iranian People's Fedaii Guerillas, our communist comrades in Italy, Peace and Freedom Party, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Radical Women, Rising Youth, Scottish Republican Socialist Movement, Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, Worker-Communist Parties of Iran and Iraq, Working Women Organization, and all who are struggling to liberate the working class from the shackles of capitalism and imperialism.

Since last May Day, we have seen workers' movements grow in determination and militancy. New York, Dublin, London, and most especially France have seen major actions of workers resisting privatization and attacks on living standards. In Dublin, working class anger manifested itself in the streets in response to the reactionary Love Ulster march by supporters of British imperialism. In the United States a mass movement of immigrant laborers have asserted themselves against the criminal regime which threatens them and treats them as non-human while viciously exploiting their labor power. The unity of the working class has not been this high in many years and appears to be growing in relation to the increasing decadence and incompetence of the ruling class.

The Irish Republican Socialist Movement always attempts to point the way forward for our class. In Ireland we believe conditions are growing for a republican socialist alternative to fill the void in revolutionary politics. It is likely that the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement will not take place. This aside, neither the GFA nor any other imperialist-brokered settlement will resolve the fundamental contradiction at the heart of Irish society. Only a socialist Ireland with full self-determination can begin to do that.

As our great teacher and martyr James Connolly said, "The great only appear great because we are on our knees, let us arise!"

Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America Austin, Tex. 
 


 
 
 

 


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