Malachy McAllister shakes hand with George Mitchell.Dominick Totino

A petition on Change.org in support of Malachy McAllister’s urgent quest to fight a deportation order to stay in the U.S. garnered more than 2,300 signatures by Tuesday afternoon, but the Belfast native remains in limbo as frantic political and community efforts on his behalf continue before he is ordered to report for deportation on April 25.

Congressmen Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, Joe Crowley of Long Island and Peter King of Long Island introduced a private bill in the House this week to stop the order of deportation issued to McAllister, a resident of the U.S. for some 20 years who fled his home in Belfast in 1988 after it was fired upon by Loyalist paramilitaries who, it has been proven, worked in collusion with British security forces. McAllister had been a member of the INLA paramilitary group and served jail time for his role in attacks on RUC police officers in the early 1980s.

Malachy McAllister photographed with friends.

Malachy McAllister photographed with friends.

Pascrell, Crowley and King authored a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana last week urging them to continue granting deferred action to McAllister, a New Jersey resident and businessman who has received the action every year while his case for asylum works it way through the courts.

“Mr. McAllister presents no threat to the safety and security of the United States, or to any other country, and his offenses are historical, committed over 30 years ago in the course of a now much-resolved centuries old political conflict. He clearly meets the Department’s guidelines for prosecutorial discretion on a number of different grounds, not least because he has resided here for decades and has a very young U.S. citizen child and family who depend on him, and which will suffer significant adverse consequences of his removal,” the letter says in part.

The AOH continues to mobilize around the U.S. in support of McAllister, urging its members to contact their House and Senate members on his behalf.

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