How much do your fellow Irish people mean to you? That question isn't academic now. Who you vote for in this country will be your final answer.
How can I make this claim? Because last Monday, May 13, the Trump administration's secret plan to target undocumented families for mass arrests in ten U.S. cities was revealed.
Tens of thousands of parents and their children are at risk from a new and unprecedented Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) dragnet. It's inevitable that Irish names will be on those lists.
The planned ten-city blitz operation was first suggested by Trump's top advisor on immigration issues Stephen Miller and ICE Deputy Director Matthew Albence - who are both reportedly in favor of mass arrests for the "highly visible message" they send to migrants.
But let's consider where these blitzes are planned to unfold: New York, Chicago, Boston and Los Angles for a start, all so-called “sanctuary cities” where local law enforcement does not readily cooperate with ICE.
There are thousands of undocumented Irish families living in each of those cities, all of whom would be vulnerable to this unprecedented mass immigration purge.
The initial plan reportedly contained the names of 2,500 adults and children and all were targeted for arrest and immediate removal, according to the press.
But then Miller and the Trump administration expanded the original goal to see as many as 10,000 undocumented detained in one dragnet.
This plan, by the way, has not been shelved. It is still currently under consideration. We could still wake up to shocking images of further family separation and crying children because cruelty has been one of the most characteristic qualities of this administration, which considers no new low too low.
Now we know why DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Ronald Vitello were forced out of their jobs recently.
It wasn't because the pair had any moral objections to a heartless sweep of long-settled undocumented families, it was because they thought the plan was simply not well prepared, the exact same criticism that has been directed at their family separation policy at the southern border.
It's a pure political theater, of course, a policy designed for the press cameras not for real life - because in real life the numbers crossing the border have actually increased since Trump became the president.
Just in the last few months alone, the numbers have reportedly risen past 100,000 a month.
But let's be clear, we are not just talking about Mexican, Cuban and South American migrants either. Undocumented Irish people can not expect the color of their skin to save them from mass ICE arrests when they come – and it almost certain they are coming. Trump has been relentlessly packing the top tiers of our government with his MAGA cultists who will do his bidding without question, without concern for their reputations or their future employment prospects.
This much dysfunction requires that you ask no questions, and those who do, like Nielsen and Vitello, are shown the door.
And all that, dear reader, leads back to you. Who will you stand with when the next big swoops also target undocumented Irish communities in New York, Boston, Chicago, and other heavily Irish enclaves?
Will you look away when the names of the detained suddenly include Murphy, Kelly, O'Neill, and O'Connor?
If you think the Irish are immune to these kinds of authoritarian sweeps you have not been paying attention.
And just think for a minute about the simple human cost of all these projected ICE swoops. Imagine if you were a child at school when one happened and you returned home to an empty house after your parents and siblings were picked up in a dragnet? What would you say to that poor kid? Tough break? Is this your idea of a great America? And if it is, what the hell happened to you to make you so heartless?
Trump made a campaign promise to stem the flow of migrants coming to America but he has not been able to, in fact, the numbers coming here have increased under his watch.
That means we can expect more pointless ICE political theatre on our TV screens soon. And more indiscriminate cruelty. The nation of immigrants has forgotten its own roots.
And that means that if you actually voted for Trump, then thanks to you your undocumented Irish neighbors now have a big target on their backs too.
What are your thoughts on the planned sweep? Let us know in the comments section, below.