Former IRA member wins leave to stay in U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security has postponed the deportation of former IRA member Malachy McAllister.

 McAllister, who served three years in prison in Northern Ireland for activities related to a shooting of a police officer, is allowed to remain in the U.S. until March 2010, at which time his case will be reviewed again.  

McAllister, who lives in Wallington, New York, fled Northern Ireland in 1988 with his two children and his wife after his home was sprayed with gunfire by paramilitary forces. The family fled to Canada. When they were denied asylum in 1996, the McAllisters moved to the U.S.

McAllister has received support from various senators and judges over the course of his asylum plea.

U.S. Senator Robert Menedez, a New Jersey Democrat, introduced a bill into Congress last year seeking permanent U.S. residency for McAllister. The Ancient Order of Hibernians recently honored Menedez for his work in helping McAllister and his family remain in the United States.

Long Island Republican, Congressman Peter King, has also stood behind McAllister over the years and was joined by Donald Trump’s sister Judge Maryanne Trump in urging top federal officials to stop the deportation of the Irish citizen.

Said Trump Barry in 2006, "I refuse to believe that 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' is now an empty entreaty. But if it is, it's a shame,” she said.

"We cannot be the country we should be if, because of the tragic events of Sept. 11th, we knee-jerk remove decent men and women merely because they may have erred at one point in their lives."

In 2006, King, the then Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the then Department of Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff, to consider revoking a deportation order.

"Malachy has proved himself to be absolutely no threat to this country," said King.

He added that McAllister, 50, and his children (his wife Bernadette died three years ago of cancer), "fear that their lives will be in danger if they are returned to Northern Island."

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