A most strange complaint was channeled through NPR’s All Things Considered Monday.
Although 90% of deportations under Donald Trump have been to Mexico, Guatamala, Honduras and El Salvador, some of the other 10% are up in arms:
“It’s really indiscriminate. ICE, in their aggressive tactics of detention, are going after the Irish as much as they’re going after any other nationality,” says Ronnie Millar, director of the Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston.
Irish visa overstayers have been swept up in the administration’s nationwide immigration dragnet. Under strict new rules, anyone here illegally is a target — whether they’re convicted of a crime or not. In 2017, ICE deported 34 undocumented Irish, up from 26 the year before. The numbers are tiny compared with the 128,765 Mexicans ejected from the country last year, but in Boston’s closeknit Irish community the wave of arrests is big news.
Tommy O’Connor, a bartender at the Green Briar Irish pub, says his undocumented Irish customers are wary these days.
“It makes everyday life more difficult,” he says. “For a simple traffic stop they can be deported.”
He tells the story of a prominent local Irish immigrant, John Cunningham, who went on camera with an Irish TV crew last year talking about his fear of living illegally in Boston. Weeks later, ICE arrested him and sent him back to Ireland.
“It was a shock because it wasn’t during a traffic stop, he was arrested in his home,” O’Connor says. “It means it could happen to anybody because he was a very well known figure in the Irish community.”
Millar, director of the Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston, says that Irish immigrants are “on high alert.”
“They have no confidence that the color of their skin provides any protection for them,” he says.
“[N]o confidence that the color of their skin provides any protection for them ….” “Racist.”
Any stick will do to beat a dog.
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“While saints are engaged in introspection, burly sinners run the world.” (John Dewey) Be a saint anyway. (Tipsy)