IAUSA Irish Apostolate

Update on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform  

Issue: # 93  May 2013
In This Issue
IAUSA Board Meeting in Washington
Bishop Kirby Welcomes Progress on US Immigration BIll
Greetings from Bishop Seamus Hegarty
RTE INterview with Breandan Magee
Arch. Bishop Wenski Op-Ed
10 Facts You Should Know about the E3 Visa
IL Restaurateur Orders Up Immigration Reform
Quick Links 


Current Articles 


What Does the Success of the Mark-Up Tell us About the Coming Full Senate Vote on Immigration?

Immigration Impact 

Why We Need Comprehensive Immigration Reform by Jeb Bush

Huffington Post




Conservative Economists endorse Immigration Reform bill



Hunt for Immigration Votes on in Senate


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IAUSA Board Meeting in Washington


The IAUSA Board held their annual meeting in Washington from May 14-16 with the additional objective of meeting with Members of Congress to advocate for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  


It was an exciting time in Washington as the Senate Judiciary Committee began its Markup of the "Gang of 8" bill, S. 744.  As you may know, there were 300 amendments that were offered to the bill by SJC members.  Fortunately, many of the amendments that were offered that improved the bill for immigrants passed and those that were offered that would make the bill more enforcement heavy or more restrictive to immigrants either failed or were withdrawn.


Thanks to all of you who followed through on the Action Alerts and made calls to the SJC Members!!


THE BATTLE IS NOT OVER!  These bad amendments can be offered again on the Senate Floor.  The process on the Senate Floor will not be as clear and organized as it was in the SJC.  Amendments can be made on ANY part of the bill with no particular order on Title.  If we learn of an IMPORTANT Good or Bad Amendment and we have time to send out an ALERT - we will.


Tentative Timeline in the Senate:

Next week on Tuesday, there will be parliamentary skirmishes in the Senate regarding the motion to proceed and to invoke cloture, which will take 2 days before they can vote to proceed.   The Senate will then have the bill on the floor for amendments and votes the weeks of June 10, 17, and 24 with the intention to finish the bill by the end of the week (July 4 recess).

What's Happening in the House:
The Speaker of the House (John Boehner) said that the House will work on a bill(s) in June with hearings and a Markup in the House Judiciary Committee.  There will have to be approval by a majority of the majority to move the bill to the floor, which he hopes would be in July.  They would like to be able to go to conference the bill in August.  It is unclear if there will be one bill or three.  Currently, Cong. Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced 3 bills.  There is also a bill from the Homeland Security Committee.  It is unclear what will be marked up.



Bishop Kirby Welcomes Progress 

of US Immigration Bill

Irish Bishop Conf Logo Bishop John Kirby, Chair of the Irish Bishops' Council for Emigrants, has welcomed the recent decision of a U.S. Senate panel for approving the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 which will, if and when enacted, create a pathway to citizenship for thousands of undocumented Irish living in the United States of America.


Bishop Kirby said "The IECE welcomes the approval of the bill which will give a path to citizenship for the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish living in the United States.  Through its centres and outreaches, the Irish Apostolate USA - the pastoral service of the Irish Bishops' Council for Emigrants in the United States - experiences at first-hand and on daily basis, the many difficult situations facing Irish undocumented immigrants living in the US.  However the proposed legislation will enable our emigrants to realise their dreams and ambitions, to come out of the shadows and to contribute actively as members of their local community.  Crucially it would also be a family-friendly law allowing our emigrants to return home to visit parents and loved ones, especially for important family occasions."


Bishop Kirby concluded "I ask for prayerful support for the success of this bill.  We have had many knockbacks in the past.  We will continue to monitor this situation closely and it is our hope that this bill will be brought to the Senate floor at the earliest possible opportunity." 



Greetings from Bishop Seámus Hegarty

Bishop Hegarty, former Chair of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants, recently wrote to Geri Garvey, IAUSA Administrator.  Bishop Hegarty has retired from being the Bishop of Derry as well as Chair of the IECE due to declining health. 


The Bishop spoke warmly of his visits to the United States and the wonderful people in the Irish diaspora that he had the opportunity to meet during his tenure with the IECE.   He wrote  "Please convey my best wishes to all of the good and noble people who engaged with us during our travels to the USA."  Bishop Hegarty sends his blessings and also asked us to keep him in our prayers. 


If you would like Bishop Hegarty's address to write to him, please send me an email at administrator@usairish.org.


RTE Interview with Breandán Magee, Executive Director, CIIS

Breandán Magee, Executive Director of Chicago Irish Immigrant Support, discussed the latest step in securing the legalization of thousands of undocumented Irish living in the United States in his RTE interview.
You can hear the interview by going to: RTE Podcast and scroll down to find NEW PUSH FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM IN THE US on the list.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski: Path to Citizenship should be Widened

The Senate immigration bill introduced recently contains much to cheer about, including a path to citizenship for the large majority of undocumented persons in the country. The so-called Gang of Eight senators, including Florida's Marco Rubio, have fashioned a bill that, while not perfect, significantly improves upon the status quo and moves the nation forward.


I am curious, however, why the senators might take what some may consider the risky political step of giving the undocumented a shot at citizenship, but then exclude a large number who would benefit from it. This is exactly what the Senate bill, and the path to citizenship included in it, does. The reasoning here seems illogical, especially from someone looking from the outside. If the goal is to solve the problem of illegal immigration - and thus remove the issue from the political table - then why not bring the maximum number of persons out of the shadows? Why leave a residual population behind, one that the nation would have to deal with eventually?


To read the entire article, go to: The Sun Sentinel. 


JFI /CLINIC Advocacy Day In DC
Over 200 advocates from around the country came to DC for the JFI/CLINIC Advocacy Day on May 21st.  They came from as far as Hawaii and as close as Maryland and Virginia.  There was a young man who was a high school senior doing a project on immigration reform and several religious women who were in their 80s.  All came because of the importance of advocating for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform. 
It was a thrilling day for the advocates as the Senate Judiciary Committee was conducting the final day of its Markup on S. 744.  Advocates visited their Senators as well as their House Members and were encouraged by the positive responses they received from most of the offices visited. 

Advocates were encouraged to attend Town Hall meetings back in their district during this week's recess and to continue to make calls when action is needed. 


Irish Central has written some important facts for those interested in learning more of what the E3 visa is all about.


Read more at:    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Top-ten-facts-you-need-to-know-about-the-E3-Schumer-visas-for-Irish-208986091.html


Illinois Restaurateur Orders Up Immigration Reform

Billy Lawless, Chair of the Chicago CELTS for Immigration Reform, is helping rally the Illinois business community behind comprehensive immigration reform.    

Excerpts from a recent article in the Free Enterprise:


Billy Lawless is a former rower, the proud father of two sons and two daughters, and the owner of successful restaurants in Chicago employing 150 people. And next year he'll finally become an American citizen.


Lawless, 62, came to the United States from Galway, Ireland, 15 years ago on an E-2 visa, which is a visa for businesspeople from certain countries seeking to invest and start a business in the United States. "I was in the hotel and restaurant business for years and wanted to see what you Yanks were like," says Lawless.  


To read the entire article, go to:



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