It now transpires that 80-year-old Bridie Murphy was held and questioned for 3 1/2 hours by immigration agents at Logan Airport when she returned from Ireland.
Bridie, a native of Galway, has lived in Boston for 60 years and two of her sons are in the U.S, army, one based in the Middle East.
Despite this her green card was taken from her and she may now be deported because she spent ten months outside the country with another son in Ireland.
She was traveling alone when taken in for questioning at Logan Airport and was said to be deeply upset by what happened to her.
Senator Scott Brown’s office in Massachusetts is now looking into the detentions of Mrs Murphy as her case was brought to his attention yesterday by Irish American activists.
She was told her green card was no longer valid because she had stayed out of America too long.
It is not unheard of to challenge someone’s status when they are less than a year out of the country.
But is surely unheard of to challenge the bona fides of a woman who has spent 60 years living in America and who has two sons serving this country.
It is an example of an immigration policy gone seriously awry. We must control our borders but we need to have some common sense about who we are trying to prevent entering.
An 80-year-old grandmother with sixty years of residence, known as an upstanding member of her community hardly makes the terrorist watch.
Sheila Gleeson, Executive Director of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers said Bridie had tried to do everything right before she left by visiting the immigration authorities and she was told she would not need a re-entry permit.
“This is an example of the worst that can happen” said Gleeson “Everything about this case went wrong.”
Meanwhile lawyers for Bridie are asking that people who know Bridie Murphy personally, write letters in support of her case. These will be presented to the judge at the hearing.
Incredible, that an 80-year old woman now need evidence from friends and neighbors that she is no danger to the security of the United States.
Meanwhile her son is fighting for this country in the Middle East.
There is something badly wrong with this picture.