Derek Tobin and Ronnie Millar, the IIIC's Executive Director, in good
spirits before Derek's speech.

By Lauren Tersaga

To celebrate Citizenship Day on September 17th, the Irish International Immigration Center (IIIC) team traveled to The Boston Foundation for a press conference held by the Fish Family Foundation and the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative. The event was dedicated to recognizing the successful roads to citizenship that hundreds of thousands of immigrants have traveled.

The conference featured a speech from Kilkenny native Derek Tobin, a former client of the IIIC’s Immigration Legal Services team. Derek sought the IIIC’s help in 2003 after he was suddenly laid off by his company. He was on an H1-B Visa, which was only valid while he was employed; thus, he was told that he would be deported as a result of his lay-off. Derek explains that “[The IIIC] told me about a different visa that would allow me to stay in the U.S. for the short term so I could figure things out and go back to Ireland without worrying about having left a mess here. It was brilliant.” Sure enough, he returned to the U.S., reestablished his life here and became a proud U.S. citizen in the Fall of 2012.

Derek has remained a close friend and supporter of the IIIC, and it was wonderful to hear him tell his inspirational story at The Boston Foundation on Citizenship Day.

If you seek help with immigration or citizenship, visit one of the IIIC’s free legal clinics.