IAUSA Irish Apostolate

An Immigrant's Musings - August 2013

What's Next???

US Capitol As you are all well aware, the U.S. Senate on June 27th, in a vote of 68-32, passed a sweeping bipartisan immigration reform bill. The bill proposes among other things to do the following:


  1. Provide a path to citizenship for the vast majority of the approx.. 11 million who are currently living here without authorization.
  2. Reunification for many families currently separated.
  3. Farm workers could receive a "blue card" and be on a five-year path to citizenship.
  4. New temporary worker programs that protects immigrant workers and the American born labor force.
  5. It includes the DREAM Act, for people who entered the country illegally as minors.
  6. It also includes for a stricter enforcement of E-Verify, an electronic system designed to ensure that all those entering the labor force, are doing so legally.
  7. It aims at restoring due process rights for all immigrants who are detained for violations of immigration law. (For the record let me state again: a violation of U.S. immigration laws is a CIVIL not a CRIMINAL offence.)
  8. It includes an E3 Visa deal for future flow work visas for Ireland.
  9. It also encourages alternatives (and cheaper ways) to immigration detention.
  10. Future work-visa holders will be able to self-petition for green cards rather than relying on employers to decide whether they can call America home for good.


That is a short summary of points that stick out for me. It will have been an enormous waste of time if the House fails to act.


Where does that leave us going forward? A phrase that is constantly used by elected officials is: "what the American people want." If our elected officials really were interested in what is best for the country as a whole (instead of posturing to whatever will see them re-elected) then they would note that people nationally have consistently agreed that it is past time to fix our broken immigration system.


The latest poll from Quinnipiac University again looking at immigration, 54 percent of voters favor allowing those here illegally to stay and eventually become citizens, while 12 percent favor allowing them to stay but not become citizens and 28 percent say they should be deported. The polls have been consistent, both from the left and the right. The vast majority of Americans want to see a humane and sensible solution to this problem.


David Brooks, of the New York Times, one of the most respected commentators on the right said recently: that Republicans in the House may be committing "political suicide" by refusing to support a compromise Senate bill on immigration reform that does virtually everything they claim to want. It remains to be seen if the House Republicans are willing to take that unwise move, both for their party but more importantly for the detriment of the country - a nation of Immigrants.  

  I Wish You Enough

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's 
departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, "I love you and I wish you enough."


The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.


The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.


I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?"


"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.


When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?" She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. "When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,


"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final 

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.   Anonymous.





YOU CAN FIND FR. LEONARD'S "MUSINGS" FOR THIS PAST YEAR ON THE CHICAGO IRISH IMMIGRANT SUPPORT WEBSITE:  http://www.ci-is.org/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. 

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