Up to 300 Irish a week are moving to New York to seek work, says Agnes Delaney, the Chairwoman of the Aisling Irish Community Center in New York.
Her comments were made in an interview with WCBS News.
“We probably see about 300 people come through these doors every week,” said Delaney. “More and more are coming, especially for the last four years, since 2008, when the economy in Ireland started to go down.”
She says they have the same good work ethic that generations of previous Irish have.
“It’s not that they’re walking in the door and saying ‘Poor me.’ They’re walking in the door and looking for the adventure and looking for work,” she said.
The flood of new Irish is confimed by Paul Finnegan, executive director of the New York Irish Center in Long Island City.
“I get e-mails all the time from people in Ireland wondering how they can come to live and work legally in the United States,” said Finnegan.
“We implement the ancient Irish spirit of welcome, which is the Gaelic word failte, so everyone is welcome here,” said Paul Finnegan, speaking of the center .
Finnegan stated that efforts to secure the E3 visa that would allow more Irish to come to work here legally are critical.
“Nobody’s looking for preferences for the Irish. We’re just looking for a level playing field,” said Finnegan.
“I have a very hard time telling people in Ireland that want to come here that they really shouldn’t consider it unless they have a viable option to become legal here,” he told WCBS.
The E3, which has been bottled up by Senator Charles Grassley in the senate, would allow 10,500 reciprocal working visas for the Irish in America.
Twenty other counties have reciprocal visa arrangements with the US but Ireland has none.