Gary Feeney, Rest in Peace.

What an awful week it has been in our city. On Monday morning we were shocked to learn of the tragic death of local construction worker Irish immigrant Gary Feeney. We’ve lost so many young people in construction accidents down through the years. A huge crowd attended the wake and funeral at St. Brendan’s in Dorchester and the crowds of people present spoke volumes for the high regard in the community for the Feeney family. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with them, his wife Kelly, relatives and Feeney Brothers construction crews who are mourning the loss of their friend and work colleague.

Drivers’ licenses, reform and detentions

We are relieved that a week has gone by with no further detentions. We continue to get calls from people on this topic and we are now advising those who have questions to attend our next legal clinic on May 7th. We aim to have extra attorney present that evening. Everything discussed with the attorneys remain strictly confidential.

Chris Lavery continues to caution immigrants about applying for licenses using fraudulent documents, stating, “it is a crime of moral turpitude and the ground of inadmissibility is broad enough to include offenses that the person had not been arrested for.” Anyone who wants clarification on this aspect can chat confidentially with our attorneys at the next clinic.

Reform bill details released

At the time of going to print, the group US senators who have been working on the reform issue have published a bill: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. We will try to get a copy of it put up on our site this coming week. Our website is

Among the key items of mention is the trigger date of December 31, 2011 as a cut off for those eligible to apply for the status. This means that many undocumented Irish who entered the US after December 2011 will not benefit from this particular reform proposal. Our hope is that through a lot of phone calls, letters and advocacy, that there might be some flexibility on this date.

The act also proposes to create a new nonimmigrant classification known as the W-Visa for low skilled workers. The W visa will be for those who want to come to the US to perform services or labor for a registered employer in a registered position. The spouse and minor children of the W visa holder will be allowed to accompany or follow to join and will be given work authorization for the same period of admission the W nonimmigrant is allowed to be here.

Know your rights if ICE approaches – so many questions

· Is it safe for me to travel around the US?
· Should I take the train instead of flying? Can I meet relatives at the airport if my visa expired last week?
· Can US immigration just come in and search my car or house?
· Do I have to talk to them or can I call an attorney first?
· If they take me into custody, what happens to my children?
· Can I get a drivers license without being here legal?
· If I use fake documents to get a license, will it ruin my chances of getting legal status later?

These were some of the questions fielded recently on our line. If you have similar concerns, come and have a private consultation with one of our attorneys. The next IPC legal clinic will be on Tuesday May 7th, at the Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester. Attorneys will answer questions on visa, immigration reform, drivers’ licenses and immigrant rights.

Tax Deadline extended after attacks.

The Internal Revenue Service says victims of the Boston Marathon bombings can take an additional three months to file and pay their federal income taxes. The agency announced Tuesday that all residents of Suffolk County, Mass., including the City of Boston, can take the additional time to file. People affected by bombing who live elsewhere can claim the extension by calling the IRS at 1-866-562-5227, starting April 23rd.

Next Legal Clinic

Our next legal clinic will be on May 7th at 6:30pm in The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave. Dorchester. Meantime call or email me with any questions.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.