IAUSA Irish Apostolate

An Immigrant's Musings - June 2014






I have just returned from another trip to our Nation's capitol and another round of meetings with congressional offices. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has said recently that he would like to pass immigration reform this year. And, the message coming from his colleagues in the Republican caucus leaves one wondering, is the Speaker party to a silly and worse still cynical political move, or is he serious about convincing his party to finally get the job done.


I question the Speaker's sincerity because this is an election year and many political pundits do not rate the chances of getting immigration reform done this year very highly. That said, there are some encouraging signs, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) from Washington State (and the fourth in the house hierarchy), made a statement saying that she sees an immigration bill coming to the floor before the August recess. If past history is to be seen as an inspiration for optimism, then, it is good to recall that two major pieces of immigration law were passed in "lame duck" sessions, one in 1986 under Reagan and the other in 1996 under Clinton. Each party can claim credit for action on an important piece of legislation after the elections.


The Irish President, Michael D. Higgins paid a visit to Chicago this past month and it was an honor to have him pay a visit to our office in the Irish American Heritage Center. The President is patron to the Irish emigrant chaplaincy in the UK and has both as an academic and public servant, taken a personal interest in migrant affairs for many years. He is a passionate supporter of social justice issues, both in Ireland and abroad. He spoke eloquently of the need to do everything we can to support the undocumented members of our community. He also reminded us of the extraordinary contribution made by Irish people in the US and in the Mid-west in particular. He expressed the hope that the plight of the undocumented would be resolved with legislation in the not too distant future. 





Supposedly a true story.


 When Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, a white professor, whose last name was Peters, disliked him intensely and always displayed prejudice and animosity towards him.

Also, because Gandhi never lowered his head when addressing him , as he expected.... there were always "arguments" and confrontations.

One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University, and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the professor. The professor said, "Mr Gandhi, you do not understand. A pig and a bird do not sit together to eat."   Gandhi looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, "You do not worry professor. I'll fly away," and he went and sat at another table. 

Mr. Peters, reddened with rage, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi responded brilliantly to all questions. Mr. Peters, unhappy and frustrated, asked him the following question. "Mr. Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?" 

Without hesitating, Gandhi responded, "The one with the money, of course."

Mr. Peters, smiling sarcastically said, "I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom, don't you think?" 

Gandhi shrugged indifferently and responded, "Each one takes what he doesn't have."

Mr. Peters, by this time was fit to be tied. So great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi's exam sheet the word "idiot" and gave it to Gandhi. Gandhi took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk trying very hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move. 

A few minutes later, Gandhi got up, went to the professor and said to him in a dignified but sarcastically polite tone, "Mr. Peters, you signed the sheet, but you did not give me the grade."




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









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