Family has no choice but to leave Ireland
Irish family explains why they'll stay illegally in the United States
“That life at home wasn’t for me anymore. I seriously thought about what could be done to get us out of this hole,” said Paul.
“Ya, we really began to think outside of the box to see what options were available to us,” added Rachel before slipping off to put their baby to bed.
Paul admitted the financial strain his family was under the few months before leaving Ireland was very stressful, but not having any work to get up for each morning was even more emotionally challenging and difficult to deal with.
“It got to the stage where I couldn’t get out of bed. I was depressed to be honest, and that was really hard,” says Paul candidly.
“I’ve been working since I was 16, so to all of a sudden to be out of a job was a killer.”
Having heard about the success many Irish immigrants have had in New York, and with a cousin already established here, the family made the difficult decision to put the pause button on their life in Ireland.
“Naturally it was a hard decision, and our families were upset that we were moving, but we said we will give it a year and see after that,” explains Paul.
They are acutely aware that in a few weeks they will be over their 90-day legal limit stay in the U.S., but it’s not a concern at the minute.
Said Paul, “We really felt we had no choice if we wanted to give our sons a good life” so becoming undocumented is something the family are willing to accept.
After weeks of hotels, self-catering apartments and temporary rentals, the immigrant family has finally secured a cozy little home in an Irish enclave north of Manhattan. They have begun to settle and enjoy life in New York.
The family has resorted to renting their nearly four-year-old house back home. The income from the rent will cover the interest on their mortgage.
“We told our bank manager that was all we could afford to pay at the moment (interest) and he accepted it thank God,” said Rachel, hoping to hang onto their Irish home for as long as possible.
Their older son has been enrolled in a local school, and already Rachel is comparing the cost of sending a child to school in New York and Ireland.
“I can’t believe how great it is here,” said Rachel.
“At home before the child even begins school you end up spending hundreds of euros on school books and uniforms. That’s not the case here at all. It’s much more affordable and we’re grateful for that.”
To date their experience in New York has been good.
“People have been very good to us since we arrived,” said Rachel.
Only days after arriving Paul secured a job in his field of expertise, and is now working up to six days a week.
“I’m happy again. I’m working, providing for the family and it’s all looking very positive,” he said.
Rachel is currently interviewing for waitressing jobs and hopes to secure employment in the next week or so.
Their 11-year-old is also settling fast. He has begun playing Gaelic football with a local team, made several friends in the neighborhood and is excited with the new venture.
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