July 2010

CIIC News and Updates



Immigration Reform

President Obama calls for Reform

A recent speech by President Obama brought some welcome attention to the issue of Immigration Reform. In the speech the President described how the system is broken, and what must be done to fix it including, for undocumented immigrants, creating "a pathway for legal status that is fair, reflective of our values, and works." 

You can read the entire speech here, or watch a video recording of it here.

Support for CIR

Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently launched a "Partnership for a New American Economy" a coalition of Chief Executives from major Corporations to push for immigration reform for America's undocumented. One of their goals is to reshape the national conversation around what it is calling the "economic case for sensible immigration reform," citing statistics like immigrants generating more than 5 percent of the national gross domestic product and owning companies which have created 400,000 new American jobs since 1990


In an important press conference in Chicago Billy Lawless from Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform joined Illinois officials and law enforcement personnel to call for reform nationwide. "We ask our police officers to protect and serve and put their lives on the line, but right now they can't do their jobs because of the burdens of the broken immigration system," said Billy Lawless, Board Member of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.  "When police can't do their jobs, we should all be concerned." See a report of the press conference here

Immigration Updates

Diversity Visa Results 2011

"Winners" of this past years DV_2011 visa lottery should received notification between May and July 2010.  Those selected have been provided with further instructions on how to proceed, including information on fees.  

Please beware of Scams - notification is not sent by email. Check with your local Irish Center to see if you are eligible to proceed.

Individuals who are not selected do not receive any notification; however anyone who completed their entry through the official website can check the status of their application at www.dvlottery.state.gov using the confirmation number they received at the time of their online application.

It is not possible to apply for the next visa lottery (DV-2012) at the moment.  Check the U.S. Department of State website for updates at: http://travel.state.gov/ or check with your local Irish Center for information.

New Online Detainee Locator System

On July 23, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a new online tool meant to help family members locate detained individuals.  In order to search the new Online Detainee Locator System,  you need to have either (1) the detainee's A# and country of birth, or (2) the detainee's full name, country of birth, and date of birth .

More Lost 1-94 Cards! 

As we reported last month the use of paper I-94 forms (the green cards stapled to passports) has been eliminated for Visa Waiver travelers with an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) arriving in the United States from Ireland. Read more here

Fee Waivers for Low Income Clients

USCIS are seeking comments from the public on the newly developed Form I-912 (Request for an Individual Fee Waiver). The 60-day public comment period is open until September 13, 2010.  Please visit regulations.gov to find the form and instructions or click on the link: http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=USCIS-2010-0008

Irish Centers News

Seniors and undocumented among Irish immigrants needing support. The Chicago Irish Center featured in this great story on the Chicago Immigrant Connect website.

John Keane from the Seattle Irish Immigrant Support Group was honored on July 4th with the prestigious Spirit of Liberty Award in Seattle. The Award, from the Ethnic Heritage Council, was presented by US Congressman Jim McDermott.

Jim Cummins has announced his resignation as Chair of the Seattle Irish Immigrant Support Group. We a delighted to report that Jim will continue on as VP in Seattle as he passes the torch to Dublin native Aidan Maher. We thank and congratulate Jim for his many years of dedicated service to the Seattle Irish immigrant community and we look forward to working with Aidan over the coming year.

J-1 Update

In NY J1 students are getting their social security numbers within a week in NY this year (it was taking anything up to six weeks previously).

In San Francisco the IIPC is dong outreach in the Irish Community to assist J-1 students, some of whom have traveled from other areas in an effort to find jobs and accommodation.

News from Ireland

120,000 to emigrate by end of 2011

The number of people leaving Ireland this year and next is predicted to reach 120,000, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute. See the Irish Times Article here

Rise in suicides as money woes hit

The Irish Independent reports that "suicides increased by an alarming 25 per cent last year to 527, according to provisional figures, while 11,966 people presented to hospitals after attempting suicide". http://www.independent.ie/national-news/rise-in-suicides-as-money-woes-hit-2263298.html

Great bargains in Ireland for seniors

There are some good savings opportunities for seniors who are traveling to Ireland, both north and south, this year including. Golden Trekker rail passes provide free travel throughout the Republic of Ireland for visiting seniors aged 66 and over. In Northern Ireland Smartcards entitle visiting seniors to free travel between July 1 and September 30.

For more information contact Tourism Ireland at 1-800- SHAMROCK or click: http://www.discoverireland.com/us/

Irish Heritage Certificate

The Irish Government, by the end of 2010, will introduce a Certificate of Irish Heritage for people of Irish descent who do not qualify for citizenship. For more information of claiming Irish citizenship and the changes since 2005 check out the Department of Justice Equality & Law Reform website.

Study in Ireland - Reduced Fees!

The initiative aims to encourage the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Irish citizens (including non-resident Irish passport holders with dual citizenship) living outside of the EU to return to Ireland for their Higher Education studies. The program will be of particular interest to members of the Irish Diaspora who reside outside of the EU. Students in this category are normally subject to full Non-EU tuition fees. Through this Program qualifying students will benefit from a reduction in tuition fees of up to 40% depending on the course and Institute of application. For the 2010/2011 intake the IHSP fee level will be €5,950. Check the IHSP website for more information.

Seniors Connect

If you are an Irish Senior and you would like to connect, via the phone, with someone from Ireland for a chat or to discuss an issue call the toll free number 1-877-997-5777. The Senior Connect program is free, easy to access and completely confidential.

Sheila Gleeson

Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers


Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers | 551 Washington Street, Suite 4 | Boston | MA | 02135