NOVEMBER 21, 2014—The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (CIIC) welcomes President Obama’s announcement of executive action on immigration as an important first step toward fixing the currently broken U.S. system. We applaud the President for exercising his lawful authority to make much needed improvements to the immigration system, positively affecting up to 50,000 undocumented Irish currently residing in the U.S.
Of greatest interest to the Irish community is the President’s plan to allow the parents of U.S. citizen children to apply for work permits and relief from deportation, provided they have lived in the United States for five years, are up‐to‐date on taxes, and have no criminal background. This will allow thousands of Irish people to live and work in the U.S. without fear of being deported. Unfortunately, this is no consolation to the many hardworking Irish immigrants without children who will not be helped by the President’s actions.
Celine Kennelly, CIIC Board President, said “CIIC is delighted by President Obama’s announcement, as we have been pushing for executive action since the failure of the Senate bill last year. The President’s action will provide relief to many of the 50,000 undocumented Irish here in the U.S., but we must not forget those who will not qualify for help under this mandate.” Kennelly continued: “CIIC and its member centers support the President, and we hope that this is the first step toward a more comprehensive and bipartisan legislative bill that will provide all undocumented immigrants with a path towards citizenship.”
CIIC and its member centers across the United States stand ready to implement the President’s executive action plan. The centers will provide information and assistance to people interested in applying for relief, in partnership with the Irish Embassy and Consulates in the United States and with the assistance of the Irish government’s Emigrant Support Program.
There are currently 11 Irish Immigration Centers throughout the US that provide an array of front line services to Irish immigrants. CIIC encourages people to visit our website and follow us on social media for details about the application process and the scheduling of public information meetings that will be held across the U.S. as we learn more about the executive action plan. CIIC cautions those seeking advice to only contact trustworthy and reputable organizations. Links to CIIC’s regional Irish centers can be found on the CIIC website: www.ciic‐usa.org.
Ronnie Millar, CIIC Board Vice President, said “CIIC and the regional centers are thrilled by President Obama’s executive action announcement, which is going to affect thousands of people in our community. These are hardworking people with families, who will now be able to participate fully in their communities and in their children’s lives. It’s time to recognize the contributions that immigrants make to America and in the President’s words: Pass a bill!”
ABOUT THE COALITION OF IRISH IMMIGRATION CENTERS
The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (CIIC) is a national umbrella group for all of the Irish Immigration Centers in the US. The CIIC was established in 1996 to promote the welfare of Irish immigrants in the US at a national level. The mission of the CIIC is to represent immigrant organizations throughout the United States who are committed to providing services to Irish immigrants. The Coalition provides support and assistance to the various centers in their work through advocacy, education and the exchange of information. CIIC member organizations are located in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Wisconsin.
To learn more about CIIC visit, www.ciic-usa.org