IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 85  September  2012
In This Issue
IAUSA Members Meet in NYC
MRS/CLINIC National Conference
Diversity Visa Lottery
The Economic Advantages of Citizenship
The Gathering 2013
Court Fast Tracks Some Green Card Applications
Quick Links 


Current Articles 


What If Rich Countries Shut the Door on Immigration?

TIME World 



Infographic: The Economic Impact of The Republican and Democratic Immigration Platforms 

Think Progress



Need for US Immigration Reform at a 'critical moment,' say Speakers


Other Links 


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IAUSA Members Meet in New York City 

Following the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers meeting, Fr. John McCarthy and Ms. Celine Kennelly, IAUSA Board Members, along with Ms. Geri Garvey met with representatives from the Member Centers.  In attendance were: Breandan MaGee (Chicago Irish Immigrant Support), Sr. Christine Hennessy (Project Irish Outreach), Ms. Bernadette Cashman (San Diego Irish Outreach), Jim Cummins and John Keane (Seattle Irish Immigrant Support Group).


The group shared some highlights of the past year and discussed some of the on-going needs of Irish immigrants.    The Board shared the new IAUSA Bylaws and reported on the accomplishments this past year of several projects outlined in last year's IAUSA Strategic Plan.


Members of the IAUSA Board will be visiting several of the Member Centers during the course of the year.  At this time, Fr. Michael Leonard is scheduled to be at the San Francisco IIPC on October 14-15.  Fr. Brendan McBride will be visiting the Boston IPC sometime in November.  


MRS/CLINIC National Conference


Migration Policy and Advocacy in 2013 and Beyond:

New Challenges and New Opportunities


Purpose:  The conference will examine migration from both federal and state/local perspectives and will discuss methods for advancing the migration policy agenda of the Church in 2013 and beyond.



Monday-Wednesday, December 3-5, 2012

Where:  Atlanta, Georgia


A draft agenda can be found on the Justice for Immigrants website.


DIversity Visa Lottery

The registration period for the annual Diversity Visa Lottery (DV Lottery) will begin on Tuesday, October 2, 2012.


Irish citizens who are interested in living or working in the United States may wish to apply for the lottery, as it is a free-to-enter programme that offers winning entrants the chance to apply for permanent residency in the United States - a 'Green Card'.  Anyone interested in applying should note that the registration period will close on Saturday, November 3, 2012.


Applications should be only be submitted through the official U.S. Department of State website:    

The Economic Advantages of Citizenship


Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen has many benefits - citizens can vote and run for public office, bring family members to the U.S., hold certain jobs reserved for citizens, and they are protected from deportation.  


There are also a range of economic benefits to citizenship, highlighted by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) in their new report, The Economic Value of Citizenship for Immigrants in the United States.  


MPI found that "naturalized citizens earn more than their noncitizen counterparts, are less likely to be unemployed, and are better represented in highly skilled jobs."  The report also finds that naturalized citizens weathered the recession more successfully than noncitizens and native-born U.S. citizens.  For example, naturalized citizens experienced a 5 percent decline in median annual earnings, compared to 19 percent for noncitizens and 8 percent for native-born U.S. citizens.  Naturalized citizens earn 50-70 percent more than noncitizens, have higher employment rates, and are less likely to live below the poverty line.


What explains the difference?  Much of it is explained by the fact that naturalized citizens typically have higher education levels, speak English better, and have more work experience than noncitizens.  However, research indicates that in addition to those factors, there is a "citizenship premium," meaning there is an economic benefit obtained from naturalization above and beyond the benefits of education level, language ability, and work experience.  Some reports have estimated that naturalized citizens may earn a wage premium of at least 5 percent, and this premium may be higher for women and Latino immigrants.


So why are eligible noncitizens failing to naturalize?  Approximately two-fifths of immigrants in the U.S. are naturalized U.S. citizens.  Of course, there are unauthorized immigrants and others who are ineligible to naturalize.  But approximately 8 million noncitizens are currently eligible to apply for citizenship but have not done so.


Some eligible noncitizens choose not to naturalize because they believe their existing nationality offers more benefits.  On the other hand, those who would like to naturalize face significant barriers; from concerns about passing the English language and U.S. history exams, to the time and money required to prepare for the exam and submit the application.

 The entire report can be viewed here.

The Gathering 2013

Many of you are most likely aware of The Gathering 2013 - a year-long celebration of Ireland and its people in the form of festivals, events and gatherings, and an invitation to anyone Irish born, bred, or in spirit, to visit our country next year.  The programme of Gathering events continues to grow, and are listed on  http://www.thegatheringireland.com/   which also contains some very interesting and "newsy" items on various aspects of The Gathering.


Court Fast Tracks Some Green Card Applications

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that immigration officials must give priority status to thousands of green card applicants who lost their place in line for U.S. residency when they turned 21. 
A narrowly divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the United States Citizen and Immigration Services wrongly determined the applicants were no longer eligible for special visas as children of green card holders after they turned 21. 
The immigration service said those children who "aged out" during the process lost their place in line, even if the parents' application took years to process. 
Under U.S. immigration law, children 21 and older cannot immigrate under their parents' applications for green cards. 
The court ruled 6-5 court otherwise, saying the applicants may keep their "priority date" established when their parents filed for a derivative visa for their children. 
The ruling held that Congress meant to aid these applicants with the 2002 passage of the Child Status Protection Act. The act meant to preserve the original date of application of a minor who turned 21 during the pendency of the parents' application, the court ruled. 
The entire article can be read here.

Join the Justice for Immigrants Campaign

The Justice for Immigrants Campaign continues to build its grassroots support for comprehensive immigration reform.  
If you want to be notified of immigration legislation updates , NOW is the time to join the JFI Action Alert list.  Sign up at: 
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. 

Please visit our website for more information: 
Geri Garvey, Administrator
Irish Apostolate USA
Phone/Fax:  301-384-3375     Email: administrator@usairish.org