I wish all the Blessings of Christmas and a happy, prosperous 2017 to you and yours. This Christmas, sadly, is an anxious time for Irish Immigrants and their families. Campaign promises from the President-elect threaten programs that the Irish facilitate to work here, and deportation may separate families. We remain committed to working with US lawmakers, Irish Immigration Centers, Senator Billy Lawless, the Chicago Celts and Irish Ambassador Anne Anderson and others to promote fair and legal paths for the Irish and end the plight of the undocumented. I will be hosting conference calls and meetings on lobbying action and general discussion of immigration issues with a panel of experts in the coming weeks. Please contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in participating. Recently, Hibernians including AOH Maryland State President Jay Linahan attended the signing of a US State Dept and Embassy of Ireland agreement to extend the J1 12 Month Program which allows young Irish and US students to live, work and enjoy our traditional cultural exchange. “J1 Summer and 12 Month Visa Program” Information at https://j1visa.state.gov
Legal options are available to either Irish and US citizens to live, work, travel. We are firmly urging those eligible to pursue US citizenship, especially Green Card holders, to do so right away. I recommend that one need not pay exorbitant fees to unscrupulous attorneys to explore these options. Guidance and support are available from Irish Immigration Centers affiliated with the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers. Information: www.ciic-usa.org
I thank the Queens and Bronx-based Emerald Isle Immigration Center, its Legal Counsel John Stahl and Siobhan Dennehy, Executive Director for helping me compile information for this article. EIIC employ highly qualified staff to assist clients in many aspects of immigration life and law and have helped thousands of immigrants have become U.S. citizens. They provide essential information on the procedures for most immigration matters; such as re-entry permits, lost or replacement green cards. EIIC also offers a citizenship program, by appointment, to assist with the application forms. The EIIC also has two attorneys on staff for individual consultations. Link for appointments: eiic.org/eiic-services/contact-us/
“The Embassy of Ireland, Irish Consulates, and Honorary Consulates”
(New Orleans based AOH National President Judge James McKay is an Honorary Consulate General) These offices are available for emergency situations, visa applications, and renewals of Irish Passports. Information: https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/usa/about-us/team-ireland-in-the-usa/#
“The Project Children Summer Work Travel Program” provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for students from Northern Ireland and Ireland to spend eight weeks in the summer working in the US to further their knowledge and experience in their chosen field of study.
“Work & Travel Ireland” U.S. students and recent graduates can visit Ireland for a summer or up to a full year, take on paid seasonal work to help fund the experience.
“Diversity Immigrant Visa Programme (DV-18)” This randomly selected Department of State annual lottery is a legal, albeit remote chance for Irish people to get a Green Card. Ireland is eligible as a country with historically low rates of immigration to the US. No single country will receive more than 7% of the available DVs in one year. The annual entry submission for DV Immigrant Visas is early October to the beginning of November. Information https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/
The “Irish Citizens Information Board” provides information on coming to live in Ireland, rights of residence, studying or working in Ireland. Link: www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/moving-country/moving-to-Ireland
“Crosscare Migrant Project” (formerly Emigrant Advice) offer information, advocacy and referral organization for migrants in vulnerable situations intending or returning Irish emigrants, as well as immigrants and members of new communities in Ireland. Link: www.migrantproject.ie/