Irish author Tim Pat Cooganhas received a ten year non-immigrant visa to come to the U.S. after New York Senator Chuck Schumer directly intervened with the U.S. State Department.
There was widespread outrage when IrishCentral and the Irish Voice revealed last week that Coogan had been denied.
In a statement, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said that, "after a personal push, renowned Irish author and historian Tim Pat Coogan will finally be granted a visa, allowing him to come back to the United States for a long-scheduled book tour."
Coogan had been denied a visa twice by the United States Embassy in Dublin, with no explanation. Yesterday Schumer weighed in, sending a letter to the State Department, urging them to quickly reconsider their decision.
Schumer cited Coogan’s long standing support of the United States and his highly-praised work.
“Mr. Coogan is an Irish treasure, a gifted author, a noted historian and a long standing supporter of the United States – our country should be rolling out the red carpet for him, not slamming the door in his face,” said Schumer.
“I look forward to welcoming him back to our country, and I am glad the State Department has corrected their mistake.”
In the letter, Schumeralso wrote, “I write to express my concern regarding the recent U.S. State Department action of denying noted author, Timothy Pat Coogan, from coming to America for a book tour. I would urge the State department to reconsider this denial and expeditiously resolve this matter.”
Schumer’s move has resulted in a ten-year visa for Coogan who was informed by the U.S. Embassy directly on Tuesday morning.
Responding to the news, Tim Pat Coogan stated:
“I would like to thank IrishCentral and the Irish Voice, Senator Schumer and the thousands of Irish Americans who protested successfully at my being refused a Visa to enter the United States.
In fact I was refused two Esta Visa waivers it transpires, not one, by, it emerges, Homeland Security.
"I was phoned today by a gentleman from the U.S. embassy in Dublin who said that he could not give me his name ‘for security reasons’, telling me that it was Homeland Security who denied the two ESTA applications, but that I was being granted a ten year Visa, with multiple applications – with a proviso. The proviso is that an annotation stating that my application had been cleared after security checks, or words to that effect.
“Instinctively I don’t like the idea it seems a sort of Scarlet Letter approach and there’s something more than a little significant about my being phoned the day after I was originally scheduled to be in New York to begin my now cancelled book tour.
“However the embassy phone call marks a great advance on the attitude over my ESTA applications and I would once again like to thank very sincerely all those who supported me.
“The episode again underlines the great strength of the Irish American community when they decide to combine on a particular issue.
“Daniel O’Connell’s famous message to the Irish was, ‘Organize, Organize.’ That message is as relevant today as ever and Irish Americans should be vigilant to ensure that the hard won concessions they secured on visa dispersement are not eroded by the action of any segment of the bureaucracy.
“Remember Lincoln’s warning about the price of liberty being eternal vigilance.”