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Former top rugby chap wants no more help for Irish in United States. Photo by: Getty

Irish govt should stop helping Irish undocumented in US says “expert”

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Former top rugby chap wants no more help for Irish in United States. Photo by: Getty

The Irish government should stop trying to get a special deal for Irish undocumented and instead focus on European Union /US relationships, especially on treaties that Ireland could exploit.

Oh, and by the way, Irish American power is no more and we are all wasting our time stuck in the old days when Irish American power was supreme.

Thus writes Colm Quinn, the latest newly minted “expert” on the Irish in America and who graces the op-ed pages of the Irish Times today with a missive entitled “Why Irish America Shouldn’t Expect Special treatment on Immigration.”

It is a classic, snobbish appeal to ignore the plight of the undocumented in favor of very, very, important trade issues.

Quinn takes Taoiseach Enda Kenny, President Michael D Higgins, and Irish politicians generally to task for daring to seek to help the Irish undocumented.

Quinn describes himself on his twitter feed as a ”sometimes” proud Irishman, which probably indicates much of his problem. Fair weather Irishmen are always ready to savage those Irish who embarrass themselves by becoming illegal in America. How dare they!

He apparently works for one of those Washington ivory tower think tanks, something called the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and is described as an ”Assistant Director in the CSIS Office of External Relations.”

“In this capacity, he manages relationships with the world’s major media organizations and helps maintain CSIS's presence in both traditional and social media,” the blurb runs.

Wow! He’s obviously very important as a result and those great unwashed Irish undocumented must really be a thorn in his side. His LinkedIn page says he’s a former St Mary’s College, Rathmines, top student who was even Rugby Director as well as top of his class!

Bright Boy!

He writes: “When it comes to Ireland’s view of itself in the psyche of the United States, it seems we are still stuck in the 1960s, when “Irish” America reigned supreme. President Michael D Higgins visited the US midwest recently; Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the US on St. Patrick’s Day; and both spoke in favor of a solution to the problem of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants in the US.”

He further writes: “The reality is the US has moved on. Irish America is now mainstream and any expectation of special treatment because of the past is misplaced.

Leaving aside that this is the most do-nothing congress in recent memory, the latest exercises are at best missed opportunities and at worst a waste of time.”

He carries on: “Why should there be an expectation that 50,000 illegal Irish immigrants in the US will be let off the hook while millions of other illegal immigrants continue to get a raw deal? No matter what the spin is, there is no Irishman in the Oval Office, and on immigration we will have to get in line like everyone else.”

These kind of profound insights reveal a very poorly thought out article. He is probably too busy and important dealing with the World’s Biggest Media from the heights of his think tank to get his facts straight.

Those pesky undocumented Irish must really be annoying him.

Here’s the truth: the Irish immigration groups are working on the comprehensive immigration reform bill which passed the senate with 72 senators voting for it last year. "Comprehensive" is the important word here, encompassing all countries who are seeking to change immigration law, including the Irish. Ireland, part of the wider project, has never sought a deal on its own. Within the comprehensive bill is a measure like those that many other countries, most notably Australia have to allow more Irish to immigrate legally to the US. 

It is part of the Senate bill covering comprehensive reform and lives or dies on the ability to pass the overall bill. There is no separate Irish bill.

Thirty seconds researching immigration reform would have revealed that, but I guess when you are the Assistant Director dealing with the world media at an important think tank you have not time to do that.

So many cocktail parties and important places to go!

Drat those illegals taking time away from important European treaties!

Some basic research would also have revealed that immigration reform is far from dead, is still being discussed in great depth, that President Obama has given Republicans two months to get their act together in the House before enacting some White House rules that will greatly ease pressure to deport undocumented who have no criminal record.

It is still very much 'game on' on immigration reform and the Irish government have played an outstanding role especially in reaching out to Republicans in seeking to resolve the issue.

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