“they will have to return home before lodging new visa applications..”

Bertie, Bush, BowlWhile Taoiseach Bertie Ahern et al were in Washington yesterday, handing over another “lovely bowl”, he took the opportunity to finally agree with the Republic of Ireland’s Minister of Justice, Brian Lenihan – “Amnesty or regularisation, in my view, undermines the system of legal migration.” As the Irish Times frontpage report states [no subs req]

Mr Ahern said he wanted to be “honest about these things” with the undocumented Irish in the US, who could number between 3,000 and 20,000. “I don’t want to be gilding the lily. There are 12 million people here illegally. We came very close to a Bill with McCain and Kennedy. It wasn’t possible to deliver. The concept of an amnesty, wiping the sheet clean, is just not on.”

It was a point made back in November last year by Trina Vargo. But Niall O’Dowd, Chairman of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, is not happy.. Nor are others.. And more here..The Irish Times also reports

IRISH PEOPLE living illegally in the US will not qualify for an amnesty and they will have to return home before lodging new visa applications, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said.

Ruling out any possibility of a special deal for Ireland, Mr Ahern, speaking following White House talks with US president George Bush, said an amnesty solely for the Irish was “not on”.

He is now placing his hopes on a two-way visa deal for 2009 or later that would benefit 18 to 35-year-olds from both countries. However, visas would last for no more than 15 months and would be renewable just once. In addition, such visas, if the scheme can be agreed, could not be applied for by anyone living illegally in the US, so they would have “to return to base” and lodge fresh applications.

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  • George

    Ever the pragmatist is Mr Ahern. Relations with America are far more important than 20,000 illegal Irish.

    There is no hope of a deal for these immigrants so Bertie moves on.

    Also, Lenihan is proving himself to be a very smooth Minister for Justice after the histrionics of McDowell. Quietly going about his job, remaining constant, even if he steps on a few emigrant toes.

    At least the DUP can be happy that Ahern got a public promise out of Bush that he will do everything he can to ensure the May investment conference in Belfast will be well attended.

  • crow

    Having spent most of last year in New York i met a lot of irish working in the bars there. Not one of these people told me that they where there legaly. Some where there for a change of life style, some visited friends and just stayed and some where facing criminal charges back at home.

  • E Powell

    The Irish are not a special case. Kick them out. And kick all the illegal Chinese out of Ireland too.

    The Irish are always too a la carte with rules and regulations. A crime is a crime is a crime. America does not need these people and the irish can do without Chinese takeaways and over priced blow jobs. Just as it is always annoying to read about the special cases trying to avoid deportation from Ireland, so also must it be a pain in the butt/ass/arse for the Yanks to listen to the endless pleading from the selfish Irish. The Irish illegals are economic migrants and deserve no special favours.

  • Can’t believe I’m saying this but… I’m glad Bertie went to Washington rather than resigned. He said exactly what needed saying. Yes, a lot of Irish people have made bad decisions but they have also been given ample warning of a change in US attitudes and should have governed themselves accordingly.

    Now that he’s said this he should go ahead and resign – go out on a moral high why don’t you.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The Irish are always too a la carte with rules and regulations. ‘

    A certain truth in that but not without reason . Too often in our history ‘rules and regulations’ favoured only the priviliged few and trod on the rights of the majority on this island .

    Where there is law there is injustice . And often some laws are impossible to implement or can only be implemented at a cost which is greater than the presumed benefit to a society . Admittedly with 12 million illegal immigrants there can be no special deals for the Irish .

    ‘ A crime is a crime is a crime.’

    Brilliant 🙂 Who would have thought it ? But there might be better ways of tackling crime than locking up 1% of the population behind bars . The USA now has 3 million people in prison . And crime rates continue to rise and the murder rate remains the same ? The number incarcerated seems to have increased dramatically following the ‘privatisation’ of the prison system . Improved revenue streams for the prison ‘owners ‘ most certainly. With the Health Insurance/Drug and Medical /legal fraternities sucking up almost 20% of USA GDP while 50 million Americans have no health insurance and American infant mortality rates the highest in the developed world one wonders who the ‘real ‘criminals are ! And JP Morgan is being awarded millions of tax dollars for stealing Bear Sterns while and private defence contractors milk billions from the same taxpayers in Iraq! One wonders if there’ll be anything left in the pot for decent criminals to steal before the end of this abysmal administration !

    Carry on Bertie even if it’s up the Potomac and not the Liffey :)!

  • T.Ruth

    “The concept of an amnesty,wiping the slate clean is just not on.”

    Lets hope Bertie is as definite and strong when it comes to OTRs and paramilitary amnesty here.

    Lets hope also that as American officialdom deals with those living in the in USA to ecape justice here those same Americans start to recognise their own contribution to nurturing and funding IRA terrorism in Northern Ireland and further afield.

    I get fed up reading contributions from the bleeding heart pro Republican Irish brigade lobbying for their mates in USA..Lets defend the poor Irish people.Give them a break.

    No mention of the invasion of Iraq by the USA. No mention of rendition flights.No mention of Guantanamo Bay torture. No mention of internment without representation or trial.

    T.Ruth

  • BfB

    Greenflag

    Stopping beating the dead horse. Bush isn’t running for office. The democratic congress has put the US in the ruinous state. Be a good pacifist and go help AIDs victims in Africa. Oh, wait..the US is the leader in that front..those bastards.

    Ruth..

    Those illegal Irish here, who would sell this country down the road for a drivers license, can’t get out fast enough..imho.

  • BfB

    Don’t get me wrong. If all the illegal Irish could be exempted and legalized, it would be a good thing. They’re not the ones who are stealing the US blind. But they Irish Democrats in the US are no friends of the illegal Irish, by opening the borders to everyone. The bed is made.

  • susan

    The American comic Denis Leary, a native of Boston and son of two immigrants from County Kerry, provides an excellent exegesis of the intoxicating blend of self-congratulation and self-contradictions devoid of objectivity or logic that distinguish BfB’s contributions to this forum.

  • “Where there is law there is injustice”

    I am reminded (by today’s speech by Barack Obama) that the US founding fathers desired to create “a more perfect union” – not a perfect one. Yes, there is injustice where there is law but there’s a lot of justice too. What’s the alternative Greenflag?

    Ever since 2001 the issue of illegal aliens in the US has been front and centre. INS/DHS has raided trains coming back from GAA matches and departing Irish have been thrown in jail. Still the illegals stay.

    The cynical side of me says that Bertie’s property developer friends would be delighted to see a few hundred thousand emigrants return to fill up the empty houses they speculated into existence.

    “If all the illegal Irish could be exempted and legalized, it would be a good thing. They’re not the ones who are stealing the US blind.” – care to be more specific BfB?

  • susan

    Pains me to say it, but I think in this instance Ahern said the wrong thing for the right reasons.

    There have been at least two instances in the last six months of young Irish men in their thirties dying because they became ill but were afraid to go for medical treatment in the US (because of their illegal status) until it was too late. Both men are dead, when simple antibiotics would have saved them. Many Irish families living illegally documentation have young children. Young children who may, too, require emergency medical care, or have specialised education needs. Their vulnerability is unacceptable.

    It was the ILIR — not the likes of Trina Vargo or Bertie Ahern — that lobbied tirelessly and valiantly for across the board immigration reform. Proposals for a path towards legalisation including fines, back taxes, etc., were defeated, despite the impracticality of “enforcement only” schemes.

    Attachment to “enforcement-only” “build a wall” “build a bigger wall” etc. schemes is based more on emotion than practicality. The US presidential candidates favouring “enforcement only” — Romney, Huckabee” — failed to capture enough votes to stay in the race. Mccain, Obama and Clinton all favour a path towards legalisation for undocumented willing to pay back taxes, etc.

    A NY TImes editorial — “Border Insecurity” — calmly describes the infeasibility of an enforcement only scheme. Here’s a link:\

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/opinion/04tue1.html

    O’Dowd was right to criticise Ahern’s use of the term “amnesty.” Nonetheless, will a path towards legalisation come soon enough that it would be responsible for the Irish gov’t not to urge its citizens living in the US without documentation, particularly those with young families, to come home?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Yes, there is injustice where there is law but there’s a lot of justice too.’

    Indeed .

    ‘ What’s the alternative Greenflag? ‘

    Without law there would be more injustice of course . But there is no point in passing laws unless they can be practically implemented . This applies not just to the USA but here to and indeed in every country where the ‘law’ is in theory anyway supposed to be for everyone .

    Bertie Ahern should establish a scheme with financial aid and housing subsidies to help repatriate those few thousand Irish who are in the USA illegally and who would want to return . 250,000 people left Ireland in the mid 1980’s .Had they stayed they would have cost the country hundreds of millions in welfare and unemployment benefits and probably sparked social unrest and political instability ! They were largely economic migrants . Many if not most have either become legal or returned to Ireland . There are some of course who would for personal and family reasons prefer to remain in the USA . For these people one can only hope that a new Immigration Reform Bill will address their situation .

    The Irish Government set up a scheme to help those Irish who were forced to flee Zimbabwe over the past decade . I don’t see any reason why they should not try to resettle the ‘illegal’ Irish who are still in the USA . I mean it’s not as if we can’t afford to ?

  • The Irish Times front page piece this morning, coincided with iTunes popping up a 1970 Pete Seeger recording.

    Seeger had started with the old John F. Poole music-hall piece, No Irish Need Apply. He then linked to Big Bill Broonzy’s Black, Brown and White Blues, in an extended monologue:

    Well, of course, the Irish got Irish power and they solved [their] problems, and yet only solved it for themself. And I really don’t think that solving problems for yourself is good enough, to do the trick these days. They solved the problems for themself largely by taking care of Blacks.

    You know the stories of the riots of 1863. Irish people coming over here didn’t want to get drafted in the Army to fight a war as soon as they got off the boat. They came over here looking for Freedom; and there they were suddenly told ‘No, unless you can pay $300, in the Army you go’. The rich person could pay and avoid the draft. So they had the Draft Riots; and who did they take it out on? Black people. And mobs went up and down the streets of New York City, which at that time was mainly below Central Park. I think the main mobs went between 23rd Street and 50th Street, up and down, and they’d go into the houses, drag Black peoples out of their beds, and hang them from the lamp-posts. It was a horrible week — it lasted about a week. Finally, the Federal Government brought in federal troops; and the Draft Riots were over.

    But the majority of people in the mobs were immigrants just off the boat, very poor, and looking around for someone to take it out on. And — keep in mind — the Black people, many of them had been living here for over two hundred years.

    Inevitably, that set me to thinking.

    There is an uncomfortable similarity between the conflicts of 1863 and the special pleadi

  • The Irish Times front page piece this morning coincided with iTunes popping up a 1970 Pete Seeger recording.

    Seeger had started with the old John F. Poole music-hall piece, No Irish Need Apply. He then linked to Big Bill Broonzy’s Black, Brown and White Blues, in an extended monologue:

    Well, of course, the Irish got Irish power and they solved [their] problems, and yet only solved it for themself. And I really don’t think that solving problems for yourself is good enough, to do the trick these days. They solved the problems for themself largely by taking care of Blacks.

    You know the stories of the riots of 1863. Irish people coming over here didn’t want to get drafted in the Army to fight a war as soon as they got off the boat. They came over here looking for Freedom; and there they were suddenly told ‘No, unless you can pay $300, in the Army you go’. The rich person could pay and avoid the draft. So they had the Draft Riots; and who did they take it out on? Black people. And mobs went up and down the streets of New York City, which at that time was mainly below Central Park. I think the main mobs went between 23rd Street and 50th Street, up and down, and they’d go into the houses, drag Black peoples out of their beds, and hang them from the lamp-posts. It was a horrible week — it lasted about a week. Finally, the Federal Government brought in federal troops; and the Draft Riots were over.

    But the majority of people in the mobs were immigrants just off the boat, very poor, and looking around for someone to take it out on. And — keep in mind — the Black people, many of them had been living here for over two hundred years.

    Inevitably, that set me to thinking.

    There is an uncomfortable similarity between the conflicts of 1863 and the special pleading that is involved in an amnesty for Irish “illegals”.

    Then:
    — The Irish-Americans were attached to the Democratic Party. They first showed their collective strength in James Polk’s 1844 election as President. Polk was a Jacksonian, a believer in “manifest destiny” (which meant expansion across the continent), a slave-owner from Tennessee, and proponent of the Missouri Compromise (which retained slavery below the Mason-Dixon line) being applied across the rest of the continent.
    — The Irish nationalist priority was Repeal, restoring the Irish Parliament. To maintain Irish-American support and finance for Repeal, it was politically convenient to soft-pedal on Abolition.
    — Even before the immigration of the Hungry Forties, Irish had supplanted Blacks in many trades (notably in building canals and then the railroads), because Irish first undercut anyone else, and then became organised labour to protect their position. This gave them political clout. It also meant that Irish and Black interests conflicted.

    Now:
    — it is unreasonable to expect special treatment for the few thousand Irish when the issue (an emotive electoral one, too) is the many Latinos. Ahern is stating a harsh truth as softly as he can.

  • Apologies to all: my ISP is playing up. Ignore the earlier one of these two previous posts: I thought the connection had broken, and my post had evaporated into the electronic desert.

  • BfB

    Susan

    A Democrat, right?
    Mr. Leary is from Worcester, not Boston. A good man though.

  • Kevin

    “The democratic congress has put the US in the ruinous state.”

    That statement is so completely at odds with reality, it’s amazing.

    The United States is in the state it’s in now because it has had 7 years of Bush and company driving the place straight into a ditch, aided and abetted by the Republican clowns who were in control of both houses of Congress for all but one of those years. That all of these problems started in January 2007 is, frankly, laughable.

  • BfB

    Kevin..

    You’re horribly misguided. Read a book. Democratic policies, liberal judges, misguided, delusional minorities running rampant, countrywide. Abortionist kill millions, try to protest in front a a clinic. The Marines have made it possible for these same people to exercise free speech. You wierdo, social misfits pick them to harass. Not China, Russia and the many other truly monstrous governments. You are childish cowards, worth nothing in the long run. You have ruined the public education, and destroyed generations of our youth. Womens lib will escort minors to abortions against their parents will, but not one word about Islamist persecution. Shallow, worthless, overeducated, elitist. Despicable.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    susan: “It was the ILIR—not the likes of Trina Vargo or Bertie Ahern—that lobbied tirelessly and valiantly for across the board immigration reform. Proposals for a path towards legalisation including fines, back taxes, etc., were defeated, despite the impracticality of “enforcement only” schemes.”

    Wholesale legalization is equally impractical, insofar as it does nothing to correct the problem. In the short-term, it will increase the problem, as border-jumpers seek to enter the United States ahead of the dead-line. In the mid-term and long-term, it will simply be another iteration of the 1983-84 amnesty, where the same bargain — amnesty for illegals in exchange for securing the border. The same result will occur — liberals, once the amnesty is passed, will forget about the other half of the bargain, the border-jumpers will continue and, in ten to fifteen years, we’ll be having the same conversation.

    Secure the border first and we can discuss it. Not before.

    susan: “A NY TImes editorial—“Border Insecurity”—calmly describes the infeasibility of an enforcement only scheme.”

    They are also on record for saying there was no famine in the Ukraine.

    Likewise, the facts on the ground — illegal immigrants leaving the country in the face of new enforcement schemes, would belie you faith in the infallibility of the NYT.

  • Harry Flashman

    *There have been at least two instances in the last six months of young Irish men in their thirties dying because they became ill but were afraid to go for medical treatment in the US (because of their illegal status) until it was too late. Both men are dead, when simple antibiotics would have saved them.*

    Why do I find that extremely hard to believe? Do clinics check your immigration status before they issue penicillin prescriptions or something?

    I had the need of medical attention in New York once and I went to the doctor and received it. No problem, no id check, no immigration reports nothing, just medical treatment.

    Any source for this story?

  • susan

    Harry, here are two news accounts for two separate deaths in the last few months I am aware of, one from the BBC and one from the Boston Globe. Other sources, including the Irish News, are available through Google.

    Here is the BBC report on the death of 34 year old Thomas Garvagh of Derry, who died in Minnesota:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7256288.stm

    Here is a direct link to the Boston Globe piece of January 31, 2008 reporting the death of Galway’s Eddie Treacy at age 33, in Boston:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/01/
    31/a_toast_to_an_irishman/

  • susan

    My apologies for the mishap with the Boston Globe link; the Mac is acting up. Let’s give that another go:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/01/31/a_toast_to_an_irishman/

    My heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of both men. Terrible, terrible loss.

  • We rarely go far in these debates without shroud-waving. I have to say that the Boston Globe piece cited by susan @ 08:21 AM makes my teeth grate with its faux-Hibernicisms. A young man, in his arrogance, failed to recognise he had pneumonia. Sad, but it happens: I know of a similar case, with a young teacher in London, UK, whose life was saved only by having a biology-teacher girl-friend who recognised the symptoms.

    The other example, of Mr Garvagh, gets a full treatment from Shaun Harkin at Alexander Cockburn’s Counterpunch.

    Cockburn (for those who don’t know) is son of the late, great Claud and mimics a leftist libertarian posture. This frequently leads him, like Wile E. Coyote, into unsupported space.

    Harkin’s article develops from conventional wisdom:

    The St. Patrick Day parades illuminates how the US has benefited greatly from massive waves of immigration. The US could never have become an economic and military powerhouse without wave after wave of newcomers, ‘flooding’ its shores. Yes, immigrants, from every corner of the globe, and their children built America and continue to build America. The great wealth and power of America’s elites and the political establishment comes in no small part from the labor of immigrant workers.

    From there we have an attack (actually quite justified) on Rep Peter King (Rep, NY), he of “There are too many mosques in my country”:

    In the 1980’s, New York based IRA supporters, many of them undocumented economic refugees, were the ground troops for King’s political career. Today, King is a leading Know-Nothing, sponsoring some of the most draconian anti-immigrant legislation. The Peter King phenomenon is merely a microcosm of the sickness of the whole political and economic system.

    Blaming the whole “system” on King seems some hyperbole.

    From there Harkin develops an even more staggering artefact of an argument:

    Ireland’s political elite acted as the US’s hammer in the European Union, advancing a specific US agenda and advancing neo-liberalism in general. The Irish State is a neo-liberal regime modeled on and dependent on the US. In many respects, Ireland today seems like an economic colony of the United States. US investment has come at a price. The U.S. socialist journalist, John Reed, once said: “Uncle Sam never gives something for nothing. He comes along with a sack stuffed with hay in one hand and a whip in the other. Anyone who accepts Uncle Sam’s promises at face value will find that they must be paid for in sweat and blood.”

    Again, one has to question the relevance of a quotation, plundered from the Trots, from a man dead before the establishment of the Irish state. Even more bizarre is a testimony from the Irish battalion who fought for Mexico in the war of 1846-48.

    From there on, it is all downhill:
    — The Irish “illegals” are being punished because “a large majority of Ireland’s population is hostile to the US war on Iraq but the Irish government has refused to deny access to Shannon Airport to the US military. Even though Ireland is officially neutral, Shannon has become a key refueling facility for US war planes en route between the US, Afghanistan and Iraq. Ahern’s real legacy is that is no different from the disgraced Tony Blair.”
    — “the Irish Consulate … [has] a great relationship with I[mmigration and] C[ustoms] E[nforcement]. Is the Irish Government doing all it can? … the policy is not to challenge the neo-liberal masters.”

    Individual tragedies apart, there is some naive political machination going on here. Worse than that, a special, even hypocritical case is being argued for the few thousand Irish “illegals”, who (Harkin claims) experience “apartheid conditions”. The real issue is the ten million or so “illegals”, the overwhelming majority of Mexican origin.

    I look forward to the defenders of the Irish “illegals” concurring with Harkin that “Ireland has now become a beacon of economic hope for immigrants from all over Eastern Europe and Africa.”

  • Comrade Stalin

    I suggest everyone ignore BfB. He’s not good on matters of fact.

    I was in New York a few years ago and heard several stories of undocumented Irish who, in some cases, could not go home to attend the funerals of their parents or other family members who had passed away. The stories about people dying because they were afraid to attend a doctor for fear that their immigration status would be exposed is what happens when this problem is taken to it’s natural conclusion. You’d have to be completely cold and heartless not to feel sorry for people in that situation.

    On the other hand, the USA has an immigration policy. The people who are lobbying on the matter of undocumented Irish are essentially arguing that people who are Irish should be permitted a legal bypass of the immigration rules; that they should come to the USA in their droves and expect to be granted full residency status. I do not see how this is reasonable. Anyone who migrates to the USA illegally is taking a risk. They should ensure that they appraise themselves fully of that risk. They should know that they could be caught and deported permanently at any time, and that they will have to live with that risk.

    A fully open-door immigration policy is not workable in any Western country; there just aren’t going to be enough jobs for everyone. Despite propaganda efforts by others in the thread, I do not think that is what is being proposed, but nonetheless it needs to be borne in mind.

  • susan

    Malcolm Redfellow, Harry Flashman asked for news sources. I provided them. Are you alright?

    Quite sensible post, Comrade Stalin.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: “I was in New York a few years ago and heard several stories of undocumented Irish who, in some cases, could not go home to attend the funerals of their parents or other family members who had passed away.”

    Not so, CS — they could, in all likely, readily go home to Ireland. Getting back to the US, on the other hand… that might be a different story, but it’s hardly the same thing.

    Comrade Stalin: “Anyone who migrates to the USA illegally is taking a risk. They should ensure that they appraise themselves fully of that risk. They should know that they could be caught and deported permanently at any time, and that they will have to live with that risk. ”

    And therein lies the difficulty, CS — there are those who wish to reward the crime, rather than punish it.

    Comrade Stalin: “A fully open-door immigration policy is not workable in any Western country; there just aren’t going to be enough jobs for everyone. Despite propaganda efforts by others in the thread, I do not think that is what is being proposed, but nonetheless it needs to be borne in mind. ”

    Actually, that *IS* the position of some of the pro-amnesty organizations, albeit on the installment plan in some cases. The US has been here before and made a bargain — increased border enforcement in exchange for a one-time amnesty. Once the left got their amnesty, they disregarded their side of the bargain and left the border as porous as it had been prior to the agreement.

    It is not unreasonable for a nation to expect those who wish to immigrate to its shores to follow that nation’s laws. When those laws are broken, the punishment should follow the discovery of the crime as surely as night follows day.

    Punish those who employ illegal immigrants and you dry up the economic magnet for the illegal immigrants. As already seen in a number of communities, if you make life difficult for those who employ or otherwise profit off of illegal immigrants, they cease their association and the illegal immigrants leave.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mr Redfellow’s posts do require quite a bit of work in order to actually figure out what point he’s making. I have to confess that I’m frequently unsuccessful in this regard.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dread,

    Not so, CS—they could, in all likely, readily go home to Ireland. Getting back to the US, on the other hand… that might be a different story, but it’s hardly the same thing.

    You really are the master of the pointless nitpick. It was perfectly obvious that this is what I meant. If you have set up your life in the USA (illegally) you cannot leave, unless you are prepared to leave behind everything that you have built there.

    Once the left got their amnesty, they disregarded their side of the bargain and left the border as porous as it had been prior to the agreement.

    “The left” is a cohesive movement in the USA which makes bargains with the government and is responsible for border policy ? I’m confused.

    I do not subscribe to the analysis that illegal immigrants are the cause of everything that is going wrong in the US (this is not an argument that you are advancing), but at the end of the day, the law is the law. I would say there are good reasons why there isn’t legislation to clamp down on people who employ illegal labour; the outcry from employers would be deafening.

  • susan

    I find I need to distance myself from Malcolm Redfellow’s presumption that the late Eddie Treacy’s death is linked to Treacy’s “arrogance.” A presumption apparently rooted in Redfellow’s distaste for the prose style of a Boston Globe reporter, and as shrill and unkind a remark as I have encountered on this blog.

    On a far more productive note, I am thinking more about Greenflag’s suggestion that the Irish government could and should provide more support and assistance to undocumented Irish needing to repatriate. I am old enough to remember the outcry to the pronoucement of the then Tánaiste, Brian Lenihane, in the late eighties that “we cannot all live on a small island.”

  • kensei

    DC

    Actually, that *IS* the position of some of the pro-amnesty organizations, albeit on the installment plan in some cases. The US has been here before and made a bargain—increased border enforcement in exchange for a one-time amnesty. Once the left got their amnesty, they disregarded their side of the bargain and left the border as porous as it had been prior to the agreement.

    The Left, DC? There are sections of the Right that are quite as keen on it, considering the endless supply of cheap, easily exploited labour it supplies. And sections of the Left that don’t like it, for similar reasons.

    In any case, replace “the Left” with the “Gay Mafia” or “the Israeli lobby” and the extent of your sloppy thinking is apparent.

  • For the benefit of Tovarishch Iosif Vissarionovich:
    Dobryj dyen’!

    And somme vnderstonde wel Englysch,
    That can nother Laty nor Frankys.
    Bothe lered and lewed, olde and yonge,
    Alle vnderstonden english tonge.

    And some of us do it just for the laugh.

    susan @ 12:15 PM: “Alright?”, well, I prefer to think of myself as moderate Left, but thanks for asking.

    My objection to the sources was they were anything but “news”. One was a blatant piece of tear-jerking; the other had been mercilessly exploited for some very dodgy political posturing.

    The real “news” is two-fold:

    1. Double-standards.
    The Irish “illegals” and their apologists seem to be looking for a special deal. In other words, they are exploiting their bourgeois credentials and lifestyle (and, yes, most are in well-paid and respected professions and skilled occupations) while the same privileges they seek would be denied to the lower orders, the stoop-labour and service employees. The irony there is the US economy could survive without the “illegal” Irish; but not without the Latinos.

    2. The elephant in the room.
    The real “news” behind the two stories cited by susan is as likely to be the gross inadequacies of US healthcare, particularly for those on the margins of society, and the vast numbers (over 47M, and growing by the year — 16% of the population) with no health insurance at all. In other words, however poor and deprived the Mexican male is in Mexico, he has a better life expectancy there than by becoming a US “illegal”. Somewhere in that is one of my justifications for being a Clintonista rather than an Obaman.

    If we must have a slogan, what’s wrong with the old one? —

    Don’t mourn. Organise.

    Do svidaniya!

  • BfB

    ‘I suggest everyone ignore BfB. He’s not good on matters of fact.’

    Such as?

  • susan

    Perhaps “Don’t mock. Organise.” would be more appropriate in your case, Malcolm. If you were of a calmer temperament you would have grasped that the sources were provided to Harry Flashman in response to his specific request for background, and deliberately in link form only.

    You mocked the death of a thirty three year old man dying alone in his bed as an offshoot of “arrogance,” Malcolm. And I find that disgusting. Is it less intellectually or morally repugnant because the dead man you mcked was Catholic, and Caucasian, then if you had mocked the death of a man who was Latino, or Black, or Muslim?

    Not to me.

    I know that the Irish “illegals” and the leaders of the ILIR lobbied for years in support of immigration reform that would provide a path towards legalisation for millions of undocumented aliens regardless of their racial or ethnic background. Only when that collapsed, did they pursue a special deal. To you, that is “exploiting their bourgeois credentials.” It seems likely you know a great deal more about exploiting bourgeois credentials than I do, so I will defer to you on that.

    As to your foray in to the gross inadequacies of US healthcare?

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • susan

    And yes, I’m aware my spelling is atrocious today. I’m extremely pressed for time. If my misspellings provide anyone with a reinvigorated sense of self worth, za vashe zdorov’ye!

  • Gosh, what a heartless uncaring beast I am!

    A sob-story is good propaganda but bad case-law: that’s not the view of a cynic, but of a pragmatist. However, like Macbeth, allow me to mock the time with fairest show:

    — There is no automatic link between seeking medical treatment and risking deportation. None. Zilch. Nada. To imply there is to to decry and deny the work of so many dedicated professionals. For the best establishments, an insurance card or an unlimited line of credit, perhaps. On the other hand …

    — being pragmatic, consider:
    — New York State (and most “illegals” do not stray far from the East Coast) offers Healthy New York, a low-cost health insurance for freelance workers. Other States have gone even further, providing for “residents”, rather than just “citizens” (as Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, to his credit, was pressing).
    — Then there’s Working Today , a freelancers’ trade union which offers health insurance.
    A current article in the Irish Echo identifies these and similar healthcare packages for people working as barkeeps and in similar service occupations, and gives telephone contacts.

    When there are these, and many other offers of help and advice, ignoring them , denying them, deriding them, and then blaming them for failing, yes, that is arrogance.

  • SlugFest

    Susan,

    Love your posts — brilliant writing.

  • susan

    Your posts are beginning to defy belief, Malcolm. I did not and never would have said there was a link between seeking medical treatment and risking deportation. According to the news sources, the families of the dead men believe it was fear of deportation, not the facts of United States immigration law and the right to emergency medical treatment, that kept the men from seeking treatment.

    Despite your confidence in the comfortable lifestyles of the undocumented Irish — to quote you, “most are in well-paid and respected professions and skilled occupations” — neither of the dead men were attorneys.

    Do you see?

    You personally accused Eddie Treacy of “arrogance.” Where is your evidence of Eddie Treacy personally ignoring “offers of help and advice, denying them, deriding them, and then blaming them for failing?”

    I do not think you are “a heartless uncaring beast.” My name is Susan, not Scarlett O’Hara. I find your attitude to a dead working man petty and peevish, but hardly demonic.

    I don’t need to imagine what the families of the dead men went through, I know. And I’m glad you provided helpful links. Who knows who might see them? In the late eighties I must have spent a few thousand hours all told in a similar efforts, at a time when Aer Lingus used to charge by weight to fly coffins back over the Atlantic, and you had to have special lead-lined (I believe it was lead, I’m sure someone could verify that) coffins to fly a body transatlantic.

    So keep up the good work. And if you continue to defend your calling Eddie Treacy “arrogant” by invoking the ills of US healthcare, US immigration, and articles of the Irish Echo, you will continue to have my contempt, spoken or unspoken. I’m sure you can live with that.

  • susan

    SlugFest, pathetic though it may sound, I needed that at this moment. Thanks, mate!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: ““The left” is a cohesive movement in the USA which makes bargains with the government and is responsible for border policy ? I’m confused. ”

    The Democratic party, once they obtained the amnesty, conveniently forgot their side of the bargain… the same collection of hand-wringers who don’t want picture id for elections, but want “motor-voter” laws (which allow individuals to register as voters at the DMV) and driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.

    It would seem you’re a dab hand at picking nits yourself, Josef…

    Kensei: “The Left, DC? There are sections of the Right that are quite as keen on it, considering the endless supply of cheap, easily exploited labour it supplies. And sections of the Left that don’t like it, for similar reasons. ”

    Actually, that would be “business,” Kensei, not “the right.”

    But then, intellectual consistency was never your strong suit. Neither, it would seem, would be originality, having to ride Josef’s coat-tails.

    Malcom Redfellow: “There is no automatic link between seeking medical treatment and risking deportation. None. Zilch. Nada. To imply there is to to decry and deny the work of so many dedicated professionals. For the best establishments, an insurance card or an unlimited line of credit, perhaps.”

    Throw in that most urban entities, including the police, are forbidden to inquire as to residency status, and you have exposed the utter straw-man of the argument. Likewise, any facility accepting Federal funds cannot fail to provide treatment based on ability to pay, which opens the overwhelming majority of urban facilities.

    Susan: “According to the news sources, the families of the dead men believe it was fear of deportation, not the facts of United States immigration law and the right to emergency medical treatment, that kept the men from seeking treatment. ”

    In other words, in their ignorance, the gentlemen chose poorly… tragic, but hardly an indictment of the actual system in place, either for medicine or immigration. The criminal usual fears getting caught, sometimes unreasonably so.

  • Scarlett susan @ 06:22 PM:

    Fiddle-dee-dee … OK, one last try.

    Do I feel pity for anyone sick and a long way from home? Of course: “every man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind”.

    Am I convinced that there is a direct causal link between the deaths to which these stories refer and “illegal” status? By no means, because both the individuals had been in the US long enough to know the system.

    Could I bring myself to exploit such maudlin stuff to justify a political campaign? Never, while I have to face myself in a shaving mirror.

    Is that callous, “petty and peevish”? Frankly, my dear, I couldn’t give a damn.

  • Siofra Ni Muireathearthaigh

    Frankly, you clearly do care. Otherwise you would not be looking up and posting links in The Irish Echo, Healthy New York, and Working Today.

    Nor would you pretend I am making arguments I am not. In my initial post, I stated my belief that Ahern had said the wrong thing for the right reasons, and that given the stalemate in immigration reform I felt it was responsible for the Irish government to provide support and encouragement to the Irish undocumented to come home.

    Comrade Stalin made a post that was both compassionate and pragmatic, and I commended him on his good sense. I still do. Given your petty attempt to convey simple decency and respect for a lost life as maudlin exploitation, his posts are as bracing and as welcome as a good whisky.

  • susan

    Err, that last post was from me. Disconcertingly, I have no idea who Siofra Ni Muirethearthaigh is. I am thinking, however, that this may be an excellent time to find out.

  • Pete Baker

    To all

    There may, perhaps, have been some contamination seeping in from other conversations on Slugger recently which might have affected our otherwise very civilised commenters here on this thread.

    A step back, and reflection, before posting might help the flow of the conversation?

  • Actually, that would be “business,” Kensei, not “the right.”

    And there is a section of what is traditionally considered “the Right” DC, whose interests amount to “What business wants”. Pedantry only works when you are actually accurate, DC.

    But then, intellectual consistency was never your strong suit. Neither, it would seem, would be originality, having to ride Josef’s coat-tails.

    Yeah, because the entire Left of the political spectrum exists because they really want Communism. That is just sloppy thinking DC, that’s just fucking stupid.

    And originality? I’m not the one who simply repeats whatever talking points he’s heard on Fox or Drudge.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    kensei: “And originality? I’m not the one who simply repeats whatever talking points he’s heard on Fox or Drudge.”

    Of course — because the issue of illegal Irish immigrants is *such* a topic for any of the national cable news and Drudge. Can’t hardly change a channel without another breaking story on the topic.

    For the record, I prefer the BBC, the WSJ and a couple of NYC papers over television. As for Drudge, seeing as all his website is is a collection of links, ranging from the Huffington Post to the National Review, with an honorable mention for the National Inquirer and a grand selection of UK tabloids, I’m dying to know just what are the “Drudge talking points.”

    Am I guilty of a little short-hand? Yup — some days are busier than others, at least for some folks.

    Does that change the fact that in 1983-84, liberal, left of center Democrats brokered a deal for an amnesty of illegal aliens in exchange for securing the border and welshed on their end of the bargain? Nope.

    Does that change the fact that the same collection of suspects offered the same bargain, only this time with four times the illegal aliens? Nope.

    Does this change the fact that the majority of American people are against an amnesty, just at the moment? Nope. Heck, 70% of New Yorkers didn’t even want to given them driver’s licenses, let alone forgive their immigration status.