Undocumented still standing after broken dreams
Five years after mass rallies in Washington dream lives on
“It’s backwards things have gone, but I have no intention of going back to Ireland,” he added.
Liam now has a child with his girlfriend and plans to remain in the U.S. long-term.
“I want my son to grow up here in New York with all the opportunities that I didn’t have when I was a child back home.”
Michelle and her husband Peter have been living in New York for nearly nine years. They don’t have any children but plan to start a family soon.
“To be honest we really wanted to hold off having a family until we got papers. Being illegal isn’t the ideal scenario while bringing a baby into the world, but at this stage we can’t put it off any longer,” Michelle candidly told the Irish Voice.
Although Michelle was unable to attend the Washington rally five years ago her husband (her fiancé at the time) went on their behalf.
“He came back pumped. He had me convinced that we would be getting green cards. I nearly thought they’d be coming in the post the next week,” Michelle laughed while remembering back.
The couple, both from the west of Ireland, did “seriously contemplate” going back home.
“Every year we made plans to move home and then we’d change our minds and stay an extra year, and sure then the recession hit Ireland and that put an end to any more talk of heading back home,” said Michelle honestly.
The couple hope that “some sort of legislation will eventually be passed” so they can be put on a path to American citizenship.
“We’re here now for the long haul, we’ve made our home here, our friends are here and New York is for us,” she said.
“I guess we’ve become Americanized without even realizing it.”
Bernie, in her early forties, recalls only too well the day in Washington.
“It was an fantastic day for the Irish. Having the likes of Hillary Clinton and, God rest his soul, Ted Kennedy on our side making us promises that I was sure would carry weight in the Senate was heartwarming,” said Bernie.
“I was only here illegally a few months. I had a visa for a few years but it ran out so instead of going back to my life in Ireland I decided to stay. I really and truly thought in my heart of hearts that we would be getting some sort of visa shortly after that visit to Washington,” Bernie said.
Bernie, who works in an office in Yonkers, is having a hard time being undocumented.
“I have been home once in the last five years and that’s it,” she said.
“I’m missing so much, but even now if I wanted to return I couldn’t. There are no jobs available so what would I do?”
Bernie still holds out hope of some sort of legislation in the coming years.
“I’ve a good feeling that Obama will come good in the end and get something passed in the next few years, maybe before I’m 50,” she laughed.
An Irish family from the south of the country is moving back across the Atlantic despite the recession.
The O’Connors have four kids and want them to have their family around as they grow up.
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