IAUSA Irish Apostolate

An Immigrant's Musings - June 2012





I am often asked the question; what are the chances of getting an immigration bill passed this year? If you take the conventional answer to that question, the response would most likely be in the negative. I see very little hope in departing from this line of thinking, for the following reasons.


I know that this is the same old point that commentators make in every election year. However, history supports the position that, it is almost impossible to pass a comprehensive immigration bill in an election year.


That said; there are still bits and pieces of action taking place in DC, which are a sign that the subject is not off the table. One thing that we look forward to eagerly this month will be the decision of the Supreme Court on Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB 1070. The law requires police officers to check the immigration status of the people they stop and whom they suspect as being illegally in the country. A federal ruling upholding the Arizona law would give the state the ability to make warrantless arrests of suspects whom law enforcement personnel reasonably suspect are removable. The legal arguments are about federal preemption of state law, but the state's political arguments lay the blame on Congress and the Obama administration. Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, complains that her state has suffered more than most from the national problem of illegal immigration because the federal government has failed to address the problem.


Senator Marco Rubio, Florida, has been testing the waters with a new version of the Dream Act. His proposals would give legal status to students brought to the country illegally by their parents. It would not however, grant them an automatic path to citizenship. The cynics may say that this is part of the Republican strategy to soften the anti-immigration talk coming from hardliners in the party.


Also in the Senate, Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is proposing a high-tech immigration bill that would tighten up the H-1B temporary visa program and change the per-country numbers of employment based green cards. Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is hoping to add an E 3 visa provisions for Irish people and is said working with Grassley on the H-1B changes. That partnership has the potential to produce compromise legislation to ease some of the concerns about high-tech foreign workers.


So as always, there is no guarantee that we will see any real progress this summer. Our hope is that the work behind the scenes will not be discarded and perhaps it can be fruit in the next congress.





The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.


He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. "Well," trainer said, "when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free."


The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn't, they were stuck right where they were.


Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?


Failure is part of learning; 

we should never give up the struggle in life.






Should you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at:  sliabhanoir@yahoo.com or 773-282-8445


Fr. Michael Leonard

Chicago Irish Immigrant Support





YOU CAN FIND FR. LEONARD'S "MUSINGS" FOR THIS PAST YEAR ON THE CHICAGO IRISH IMMIGRANT SUPPORT WEBSITE:  http://ci-is.com/monthly-articles/an-immigrant-s-musings/  



The Irish Apostolate USA is the umbrella organization for the Irish Immigration Pastoral and Outreach Centers in the United States, under the direction of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants. 

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Irish Apostolate USA
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