Boston Irish Immigration Center continues to lie about their role in turning woman in to State Department
By: Niall O'Dowd | Published Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 2:06 PM | Updated Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 2:06 PM
|Boston IIIC lied about having reported Irish woman to the State Department|
Irish Immigration Center is lying again about how it handled the issue of the Irish
intern they reported to the State Department. They seem incapable of displaying any integrity.
I was prepared to let this matter lie hoping they had enough sense to move on as well but they are still justifying their Big Brother tactics.
In fact they are now blaming me for the entire incident on their website which would be hilarious except it shows how out of touch they have become.
Let me briefly recap: The Boston IIIC was exposed by this publication for canceling a young Irish woman’s visa
after they snooped around online and in print and discovered to their horror that she had written about working a few shifts in a bar to make ends meet.
They made contact with the girl and they informed the State Department her visa was canceled. Those are two indisputable facts.
They decided to play Big Brother and tell her to get out of the country and ran to the State Department to cancel her visa. Anyone in their right mind with the welfare of immigrants at heart would have ignored the minor transgression, or at worst, called and said be careful about writing that kind of stuff.
They instead informed her in a threatening and bullying phone call to the girl who worked at our office and followed up with a threatening letter warning her to leave the country by mid June.
It was an incredible overreach having an immigration center act as immigration officers, a clear example of an organization totally losing touch with their basic mission to help immigrants, but this center has become famous for this as I can now outline from other letters we have since received.
This it turns out is no isolated incident with this bunch. Here is an extract from a letter from another young Irish woman who suffered at their hands
“Niall I would like to remain anonymous with this. Quite simply because I am so scarred by my experience and I fear the Boston Immigration
Center and what they are capable of.... “I was on a J1 12 month visa.
"Basically they called the organization where I was serving my internship and found out I was there more like 24 unpaid hours a week than the required 36 or whatever hours are required.
“They then heavily threatened the person who I was doing the internship with and told them if was a federal offense to sign my papers if I wasn't there the exact number of hours.
“They requested all of my financials, savings accounts, credit card statements etc so that they could see that I was living of my money and credit cards that I had in Ireland and not earning illegally in the States.....
"On the following Friday evening at 4.50, Anne Marie Byrne called me and gleefully told me that I had ten days to get out of the country and to have a nice weekend.
“I was then served with the same papers that girl received,... I was summoned to Boston for a tribunal before their board in what I can only describe as a kangaroo court...”
Is this helping immigrants?
Can we see a pattern here? Yes, we can, one of bullying and intimidation of very vulnerable people by the Boston Irish International Immigration Center.
As for the latest story, after the girl had been contacted and reduced to tears at that point I intervened and called the Boston IIC and spoke to two members of the staff, Jude Clarke, who had made the obnoxious phone call telling the girl to get out, and Director Ronnie Millar.
I told both of them I was going to write an article about their dreadful treatment of her but would hold off if they simply let the matter rest and not report the incident, as I felt it was much more important to protect the girl than turn it into a major story.
They both declined in quite specific terms to spare the girl and I wrote the article. That has now been translated in their speak as the following and I quote from their web site:
“When the publisher of the Irish Central website informed us that an article attacking us was going to be immediately published on IrishCentral.com
, only then did we call our program manager at the Department of State about the situation, as we are explicitly required to do by US regulations whenever there is “any serious problem or controversy which could be expected to bring the Department of State or the sponsor’s exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute to force her to leave the country.""
They are not telling the truth. They were in touch with and canceled her visa with the State Department, pure and simple which had no connection whatever to my phone call.
Anne Marie Byrne, another of their staff, had written telling the girl her visa was canceled on May 22nd, which meant they had to inform the State Department.
This is now such a cover up and justifying bad behavior I have serious questions about whether Millar or Clarke could ever be trusted to work with the Irish community. This is their version of an alternate reality where they acted in good faith.
No they did not, They acted as informers on a young girl who did nothing worse than hold down a few shifts in a bar to make ends meet, and destroyed her American dream.
Shame on them and for now trying to shift the blame for their disgraceful behavior. I know the Irish government has commissioned an investigation into the incident as they provide $250,000 in funding to the center every year.
They should really think about reconsidering and helping the Boston Irish Pastoral Center instead which has far more credibility in the Irish American
community in Boston than these people have ever had. It is now clear why.