Together for Hope Walk a Success!
Despite the “soft day,” we had a tremendous turnout on Saturday 4th October at Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester for the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) "Together for Hope" Walk to support suicide prevention and awareness. There were all kinds of walkers (leisurely and professional power-walkers) along with runners of all ages. The autumnal drizzle couldn't dampen the enthusiastic spirits and when energies lagged - our wonderful CFC Volunteers refueled us all with water and bananas (and of course, lollipops) courtesy of Shenannigan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant which also hosted a post-walk brunch where everyone enjoyed delicious wings and potato skins while resting our feet.
Special thanks to Valerie Moroney and Grainne Bailey for all of their hard work to make the walk the success that it was. Thank you too to all our walkers, their very generous sponsors, our volunteers, and staff.
With this turnout, we have sent a clear message that the Irish community cares deeply about those who are in pain and wishes them to know that no one needs to feel alone - help and support is available. We honored people we loved who were lost to suicide and walked to raise monies ensuring direct services are available to those in need through the IIIC's Wellness Services. It is possible to live in a world without suicide. All who were there on Saturday walked to send that very clear message of Hope! GO RAIBH MAITH AGAIBH GO LEIR!
Friends from the Past Honor Sister Lena
Noel Nagle has been connected to the Irish International Immigrant Center for about twenty-one years. From 1993-1997, Noel served as a member of IIIC’s Board of Directors. He has stayed in touch ever since, lending a hand as a volunteer where needed. As the IIIC celebrates its 25th anniversary, Noel is working alongside others who have been connected to the IIIC for years to reunite past volunteers, staff members, and Board members at the October 30th Solas Awards Celebration.
For Noel, his work bringing people together for Solas is a reminder of the social connections he made through the IIIC when he was new to the area. “Back then, there were lots of us new immigrants from Ireland. My roommates and I met through the IIIC, and in the building where we lived, people connected to the Center occupied two of the three apartments. Our neighbor downstairs was on the Board as well.” In addition to these friendships, Noel built another important relationship during his time on IIIC’s Board of Directors. One year, he attended an IIIC event held at the Knights of Columbus in Brighton and met the woman who is now his wife!
However, Noel is not just working on this reunion simply to look back on fond memories. Above all else, he is looking forward to this year’s Solas Awards Celebration because he wants to honor Sister Lena Deevy, who receives the Solas award this year.
“I have so much respect for Sister Lena. She is so down to earth and kindhearted. And she’s done so much for so many people,” Noel says. We couldn’t agree more, and are looking forward to honoring Sister Lena and catching up with many IIIC friends later this month.
For more information or to reserve your seat for the Solas Awards Celebration, contact Mary at 617-695-1554.
US CITIZENSHIP: WHY WAIT?
Q: My husband has a green card and has been eligible to apply for US citizenship for quite some time, but he keeps putting it off. Can you give me some good reasons why he should become a citizen?
A: IIIC strongly recommends that all eligible legal permanent residents apply to become naturalized US citizens. Here are some of the major reasons for doing so:
Voting: If you are making this country your permanent home and want to participate fully in the American democratic process, becoming a citizen is a necessary step. Almost without exception, only US citizens can vote. A US citizen is eligible to vote in every local, state, and federal primary and general election. (Note on unlawful voting: a non-citizen, even a lawful permanent resident, who has voted in violation of any federal, state, or local constitutional provision, statute, ordinance or regulation may be barred from obtaining US citizenship and may be considered inadmissible. If voting involves a false claim to US citizenship, it could be a deportable offense.)
Deportation: Green card holders run the risk of being deported if they are convicted of certain types of crimes. Following the passage of federal immigration legislation in 1996, this can be the case even for a number of seemingly minor offenses. Once you become a US citizen, you are no longer deportable, assuming you received your citizenship lawfully in the first place. Consider also that if you have foreign-born children under 18 who are lawful permanent residents, and if you or your spouse should naturalize before the children turn 18, then the children also are US citizens. (If they were born in the US, they are US citizens automatically, regardless of their parents’ citizenship). We know of a number of situations involving young lawful permanent resident children who were convicted of criminal offenses and then deemed deportable. The parents’ naturalization before the children turned 18 could have prevented the deportation of these individuals.
Guaranteed US Status: Permanent residents (green card holders) are at risk of losing their status if they spend long continuous periods of time outside the US without obtaining permission from the immigration authorities beforehand. We frequently have been contacted by immigrants who inadvertently abandoned their legal permanent residence status, and who later wanted to return to live in the US. Generally they had to go through the whole arduous processing of applying for permanent residence all over again.
Also, US citizenship is for life, whereas legal permanent residence must be renewed every ten years at considerable expense.
Government Benefits: Some federal and state benefits programs have been scaled back and in some cases are available only to US citizens. As of July 1, 2006, for example, a new Medicaid regulation went into effect, requiring states to obtain evidence of US citizenship from any individual applying for or seeking to renew eligibility for full Medicaid coverage.
Immigration for Family Members: US citizens receive priority treatment when it comes to petitioning for legal permanent residence for immediate family members. Green card holders, for example, cannot sponsor parents, siblings, or married children, and the length of time it takes for their children and spouses to receive permanent residence is much longer than for US citizens.
Federal Jobs: Many jobs with government agencies or contractors require US citizenship. This is especially true for jobs in the law enforcement, energy, national security, and defense sectors. We also have reports from immigrant-owned businesses that were not eligible to bid on contracts involving such business sectors.
Taxes: US citizens and permanent residents are not always treated alike for tax purposes. This is particularly true with regard to estate taxes, where a non-citizen surviving spouse cannot take advantage of the unlimited marital deduction. Readers are advised to consult an accountant for more information on this topic.
Federal Grant Aid: Many federal grants may be available only to US citizen applicants. (Once again, immigrants are reminded that a false claim to US citizenship on an application to obtain a benefit under any federal or state law may be a bar to US citizenship and may render a lawful permanent resident deportable.)
Running for Public Office: If you have any aspirations to run for public office, you should know that candidates typically must be US citizens.
Disclaimer: These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in specific cases. Areas of law are rapidly changing. US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the US Department of State frequently amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures. For legal advice seek the assistance of IIIC immigration legal staff.
2016 Diversity Visa Lottery Deadline Reminder
The U.S. State Department Web site for the 2016 Diversity Visa program (DV-2016) is now open. The entry submission deadline for DV-2016 is 12:00 Noon, Eastern Daylight Time, on Monday, November 3, 2014. There is no cost to register for the DV Program.
The entry form can only be submitted electronically. Entries will not be accepted through the U.S. Postal Service.
The law allows only one entry by or for each person during each registration period. The Department of State uses sophisticated technology to detect multiple entries. Individuals with more than one entry will be disqualified.
For further information, visit the State Department website at: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/
Quote of the Week
“Columbus dreamed of an unknown shore,
At the rim of a far-flung sky.” - Author Unknown