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Thread: HOW IRISH LOBBIED CONGRESS

  1. #1
    Power to the People

    Thousands of ILIR members turned into potent lobbyists on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.


    By DEBBIE McGOLDRICK

    TALK about perfect timing.

    I was sitting in the conference room of the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday morning, listening to members debate the pros and cons of the immigration bill authored by Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the committee's chairman.

    It was 11:30 a.m. and the testimony was getting a bit tedious. I went outside to the hallway for a break, and to check on how the newly-minted lobbyists from the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) were getting on.

    I phoned our publisher, ILIR founder and chairman Niall O'Dowd, to see where they were.

    "They're all over the place," he replied.

    Sure enough, as I turned around to head back to the testimony, an army of white and green t-shirts emblazoned with "Legalize the Irish.Org" turned the corner and approached the door, ready for battle.

    "Do you think we can come in?" Sean Quinn, leader of the group, asked.

    And with that, the ILIR contingent jammed themselves into the already crowded committee room. There they were, face to face with the senators who were talking about their futures in terms of amendments to the bill, and amendments to the amendments.

    Heads turned. Staffers stared. Everyone noticed. The human touch definitely works.

    Shortly after the committee adjourned for other business. A golden lobbying opportunity was at hand.

    As the senators left the room, they were cheerily greeted by ILIR members asking for support "to legalize the Irish."

    Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican from Utah, was the first to encounter the gang. He looked like a deer blinded by headlights, and stared at the lobbyists as if they were Martians who landed from outer space.

    "What is this about?" he asked.

    "Senator, we're asking for your support to legalize the Irish, and for your backing for the Kennedy/McCain bill. Can we count on your support?" Quinn asked.

    Silence. "Well, we'll look at it. We're a long way from getting there," Hatch replied. And then he got himself out of there real quick.

    No matter, the chairman himself, Senator Specter, was all alone, like a sitting duck, waiting for a colleague at the door.

    Quinn seized the chance. "Senator Specter, we're here to legalize the Irish. Can we count on your support?"

    Bemused, Specter mustered up the following reply: "Is that why the letters on your t-shirts are green?" Duh!

    Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat from Wisconsin, was definitely in the mood to be lobbied. "I support the Irish, yeah!" he announced. "I'm for legalizing the Irish!" Big cheer for Senator Feingold!

    Quinn and the rest of the lobbyists were buoyed by the success of coming face to face with the Judiciary Committee senators who will have a big say about whether the undocumented Irish can join the American mainstream, or remain on the fringes. Other advocacy groups were also milling around the corridor after the adjournment, but none were nearly as effective as the ILIR representatives.

    "Thanks for coming. You guys really got out there," a representative from the ACLU told the Irish lobbyists, many of whom were being interviewed at this stage by reporters from around the country who were fascinated to learn that there are actually white, English-speaking Irish people who are also part of the undocumented community in the U.S.

    After things calmed down outside the Judiciary Committee chamber, there was more lobbying to be done " lots more. And off the ILIR reps went.

    Around the corner were two flags on poles outside a glass-doored office, one American, the other for the Senate. This could only mean one thing " a senator's office.

    This particular one, Dirksen Senate Office Building room 239, belonged to Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho. The ILIR reps filed in. The startled aides manning the two desks looked up.

    "Can we see the senator?" one lobbyist, "Fergus," asked.

    "What's this about?" the aide replied.

    "We're hear to legalize the Irish."

    "Legalize the Irish in what respect? Have they done something illegal?" the aide wondered.

    "No, we're here for immigration reform. We're asking for the senator's support for the Kennedy/McCain bill," Fergus said.

    "Okay . . . let me see if I can get Stacy," the aide said. Stacy apparently works on legislative issues for the senator, but Stacy was "in a meeting" and not available.

    "That's fine," Fergus said. "We just want to know where Senator Crapo stands on Kennedy/McCain, and if we can count on his support."

    "I don't really know about that," said the aide.

    "Well, what do you think of Kennedy/McCain," Fergus asked.

    "Ummm . . . I don't really have an opinion," replied the aide, "but if you have some literature I'll take it!"

    "No problem. Tell the senator that there are thousands of Irish people in Washington today looking for reform, and we were asking for him."

    The aides grabbed a batch of Stacy's business cards and distributed them around. And they said they loved the t-shirts.

    And with that the ILIR reps were off. They had made their point.

    The striking thing about the group was the total professionalism they employed when going about their lobbying tasks. Most of them had never been to Washington, D.C. before, and now here they were, walking the corridors of Capitol Hill to plead for their futures.

    They were uniformly attired, armed with green ILIR information folders, going from office to office quickly and quietly, getting their message across succinctly and impressing all who they met along the way.

    "This is what the Irish are all about," said Quinn, a native of Donegal, between offices. He lives in Rockland County and owns his own business, and came to New York 20 years ago.

    Quinn is a naturalized American citizen and realizes that when he came to America prospects for legalization weren't nearly as bleak as they are now. As the saying goes, there but for the grace of God go I, so Quinn hopped on an ILIR chartered bus from the Bronx to do his part for the Irish.

    "I support my fellow Irish. I'm here because of them. As an American citizen I have rights and today I'm exercising them," Quinn said.

    "The situation is getting pretty desperate. We have to fight. I'm here and a lot of people who work for me are here. I gave them the day off because this is so important."

    Fergus has been living here since 2000 without status. "And it's getting tougher," he said. "But to see all these ILIR people here standing up to bat for us is really something. Everyone is trying. Hopefully something good will come of it."

    Fergus and the rest of the lobbyists looked at the list of senator office numbers by the elevator " the name "Cheney VP" stood out. Room 225.

    "Oh, how can we get to him?" one girl asked.

    "And then he could tell President Bush."

    Alas, the Cheney room proved somewhat elusive in that no one could find it. But there was a small room marked "Finance Committee" nearby. One of the girls went in.

    "Oh don't bother, the Finance Committee doesn't mean anything to us," another ILIR rep said.

    This young lady wasn't taking no for an answer, though. If the door had been marked janitor's closet she was still going to pay a visit.

    "The Finance Committee would be real interested in us if we became legal, because then we could pay all our taxes," she reasoned. Point taken.

    Next up was Senator Mark Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas " also known as Bill Clinton territory. "Sure he was the greatest Irishman who ever came out of that state," one lobbyist remarked before opening the door.

    "Hello. Can we see the senator?" Quinn inquired.

    "Sorry, but he's not here right now," was the reply.

    "Okay, can we count on him for support for the Kennedy/McCain bill that would legalize the Irish?" asked Quinn.

    "Well, I'm not sure on that, I don't know what he has done about it," said the aide.

    Again, the Clinton connection. "Tell your boss that President Clinton was a great Irishman and he would love to see us legalized," said someone from the back.

    Laughter " some of it perhaps ironic " from the aide. Clinton and Pryor, though both Democrats representing the same state, haven't always been known to see eye to eye.

    "I will make sure and tell him all you Irish people were here," the aide promised as he passed out office business cards.

    Now it was Senator Pete Domenici's turn to see how the Irish can lobby. And as it turns out, his office staffers had seen it all before.

    "You know, a bunch of people from your group have already been to see us," chirped Leanne, an aide to the Republican senator who is a son of Italian immigrants. "Is there anyone in your group from New Mexico?"

    "No," one ILIR lobbyist said, "but one of our prominent New Yorkers, Don Imus, has a ranch in New Mexico! Does that count?"

    "I guess it does," Leanne laughed, before searching for an aide to meet the delegation. One was out to lunch, another was busy. Could ILIR return at 3 p.m. for a meeting? Absolutely.

    Next door to Senator Domenici's office is that of Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. Jackpot! It was as if St. Patrick's Day had come early.

    The two female aides at the door were delighted to see the group. "We've seen many of you already," one said, "but that's okay because we'll take you again and again, especially if you keep talking with those accents!"

    Kohl, the aides said, was fully behind ILIR's Kennedy/McCain push. "He's spoken out in favor of it and is very supportive," one gushed.

    "You know," the other aide said, "I'm almost all Irish, so it's really great to see you guys!"

    "It's great to be here," Fergus said. "And keep talking to your boss about us!"

    Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, was next. An all-important member of the Judiciary Committee, Feinstein has been iffy on whether to support a guest worker program that could legalize the undocumented.

    Sure enough, the bases in her office were covered. "Some of you did stop by earlier," an aide said, "and Bart Murphy had a meeting with us."

    Murphy, the national chairman of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers in the U.S., and a resident of San Francisco, has been working with Feinstein's office for some time on the issue. He and a few dozen other Irish Californians flew in for the ILIR day the evening before, and Feinstein's people clearly took notice.

    "Senator Feinstein is definitely aware of your concerns," the aide added.

    Looking down from Feinstein's office on the third floor of the Hart building, it was easy to see why many of the Senate aides were already familiar with ILIR. There was a sea of green and white t-shirts visible a couple of floors down by the exit, some filing out, others waiting to get in.

    And looking outside a hall window towards the street, there were more t-shirts, hundreds of them, walking from building to building in the crisp, dry air. By now it was crystal clear " Washington was experiencing an Irish invasion the likes of which had never been seen before.

    Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican from Tennessee, was next on the call list. "Did you have a meeting?" his aide asked.

    "No," Quinn replied, "we're just here to ask for his support for the Kennedy/McCain bill." And off the aide went, looking for a more senior staffer. Her colleague at the front desk smiled and offered sustenance for the lobbyists.

    "Would any of you like some M&Ms?" she asked, pointing to a big jar of the multi-colored candies.

    "Oh no thanks, this t-shirt is tight enough as it is," laughed one of the larger male members of the ILIR delegation.

    Then emerged Kim Kirkpatrick, a Memphis native and one of Alexander's senior aides. "He hasn't come out with a formal statement yet, but he does appreciate the importance of diversity in our country," she told the lobbyists.

    "Let's keep in touch about this," she added while passing out her contact information. "I'm Irish. Lots of my relatives came here a long time ago."

    Senator Richard Lugar's office then loomed. The five-term Republican from Indiana is the chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, and his work to that effect was clearly visible on his walls.

    "There's a picture of Bono," one lobbyist said. Sure enough, it was a photo of the U2 frontman and Lugar in a meeting, smiling at each other, undoubtedly discussing Bono's crusade on behalf of Africa.

    "We're in the right place now if he's got a picture of Bono on his walls," said another.

    Angelina Jolie and the senator were in an 8x10 frame not too far away from the Bono photo.

    "I heard she was getting married in Offaly," another ILIR member said.

    Out came Lugar's chief scheduler. "How can I help you?" he asked.

    "We'd like to see the senator and talk to him about legalizing the Irish and the Kennedy/McCain bill," said Fergus.

    "He's not here right now."

    "Do you know where he stands on Kennedy/McCain?" asked Fergus.

    "My job is to just manage his time, not his policy," came the reply. "Do you have any literature?"

    The folders were all gone at that point. All the ILIR reps had were the shirts on their back, literally. One came off.

    "You want me to give him this t-shirt?" the scheduler asked somewhat incredulously. "Okay. Best of luck to you all."

    At that point, the lobbyists, about 40 in this particular group, thought it best to further divide in an effort to conquer. Some made their way back to the Judiciary Committee to corner the senators as they reconvened at 2 p.m. for further immigration debate.

    Others made their way to the House of Representatives, and some returned back to the ILIR headquarters at the Holiday Inn next to the Capitol for the political rally scheduled for 1 p.m.

    A couple of the girls went in search of a quick bite to eat, and spoke about their current state of mind on the way to the exit.

    "We can't go home, we can't get driver's licenses, we really can't do anything now," said one who lives in Woodside.

    "We don't want to live at home, we just want to be able to see our families, see our parents, our nieces and nephews. We want to live here because we love it. And right now we're desperate."

    But sometimes good can spring from such dire circumstances, as last Wednesday's massive show of strength from ILIR and its followers showed. The day offered a chance to forget about things like driver's licenses and Social Security numbers, and an opportunity to help create a new future.

    It was all about empowerment, really. And the ILIR members put the high-priced Jack Abramoffs of the world to shame. Who needs to spend millions on lobbyists when a simple t-shirt with a powerful message will do?

    And so let it be known " on Wednesday, March 2, 2006, the Irish went to Washington. And everybody noticed.

  2. #2
    Power to the People

    Thousands of ILIR members turned into potent lobbyists on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.


    By DEBBIE McGOLDRICK

    TALK about perfect timing.

    I was sitting in the conference room of the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday morning, listening to members debate the pros and cons of the immigration bill authored by Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the committee's chairman.

    It was 11:30 a.m. and the testimony was getting a bit tedious. I went outside to the hallway for a break, and to check on how the newly-minted lobbyists from the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) were getting on.

    I phoned our publisher, ILIR founder and chairman Niall O'Dowd, to see where they were.

    "They're all over the place," he replied.

    Sure enough, as I turned around to head back to the testimony, an army of white and green t-shirts emblazoned with "Legalize the Irish.Org" turned the corner and approached the door, ready for battle.

    "Do you think we can come in?" Sean Quinn, leader of the group, asked.

    And with that, the ILIR contingent jammed themselves into the already crowded committee room. There they were, face to face with the senators who were talking about their futures in terms of amendments to the bill, and amendments to the amendments.

    Heads turned. Staffers stared. Everyone noticed. The human touch definitely works.

    Shortly after the committee adjourned for other business. A golden lobbying opportunity was at hand.

    As the senators left the room, they were cheerily greeted by ILIR members asking for support "to legalize the Irish."

    Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican from Utah, was the first to encounter the gang. He looked like a deer blinded by headlights, and stared at the lobbyists as if they were Martians who landed from outer space.

    "What is this about?" he asked.

    "Senator, we're asking for your support to legalize the Irish, and for your backing for the Kennedy/McCain bill. Can we count on your support?" Quinn asked.

    Silence. "Well, we'll look at it. We're a long way from getting there," Hatch replied. And then he got himself out of there real quick.

    No matter, the chairman himself, Senator Specter, was all alone, like a sitting duck, waiting for a colleague at the door.

    Quinn seized the chance. "Senator Specter, we're here to legalize the Irish. Can we count on your support?"

    Bemused, Specter mustered up the following reply: "Is that why the letters on your t-shirts are green?" Duh!

    Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat from Wisconsin, was definitely in the mood to be lobbied. "I support the Irish, yeah!" he announced. "I'm for legalizing the Irish!" Big cheer for Senator Feingold!

    Quinn and the rest of the lobbyists were buoyed by the success of coming face to face with the Judiciary Committee senators who will have a big say about whether the undocumented Irish can join the American mainstream, or remain on the fringes. Other advocacy groups were also milling around the corridor after the adjournment, but none were nearly as effective as the ILIR representatives.

    "Thanks for coming. You guys really got out there," a representative from the ACLU told the Irish lobbyists, many of whom were being interviewed at this stage by reporters from around the country who were fascinated to learn that there are actually white, English-speaking Irish people who are also part of the undocumented community in the U.S.

    After things calmed down outside the Judiciary Committee chamber, there was more lobbying to be done " lots more. And off the ILIR reps went.

    Around the corner were two flags on poles outside a glass-doored office, one American, the other for the Senate. This could only mean one thing " a senator's office.

    This particular one, Dirksen Senate Office Building room 239, belonged to Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho. The ILIR reps filed in. The startled aides manning the two desks looked up.

    "Can we see the senator?" one lobbyist, "Fergus," asked.

    "What's this about?" the aide replied.

    "We're hear to legalize the Irish."

    "Legalize the Irish in what respect? Have they done something illegal?" the aide wondered.

    "No, we're here for immigration reform. We're asking for the senator's support for the Kennedy/McCain bill," Fergus said.

    "Okay . . . let me see if I can get Stacy," the aide said. Stacy apparently works on legislative issues for the senator, but Stacy was "in a meeting" and not available.

    "That's fine," Fergus said. "We just want to know where Senator Crapo stands on Kennedy/McCain, and if we can count on his support."

    "I don't really know about that," said the aide.

    "Well, what do you think of Kennedy/McCain," Fergus asked.

    "Ummm . . . I don't really have an opinion," replied the aide, "but if you have some literature I'll take it!"

    "No problem. Tell the senator that there are thousands of Irish people in Washington today looking for reform, and we were asking for him."

    The aides grabbed a batch of Stacy's business cards and distributed them around. And they said they loved the t-shirts.

    And with that the ILIR reps were off. They had made their point.

    The striking thing about the group was the total professionalism they employed when going about their lobbying tasks. Most of them had never been to Washington, D.C. before, and now here they were, walking the corridors of Capitol Hill to plead for their futures.

    They were uniformly attired, armed with green ILIR information folders, going from office to office quickly and quietly, getting their message across succinctly and impressing all who they met along the way.

    "This is what the Irish are all about," said Quinn, a native of Donegal, between offices. He lives in Rockland County and owns his own business, and came to New York 20 years ago.

    Quinn is a naturalized American citizen and realizes that when he came to America prospects for legalization weren't nearly as bleak as they are now. As the saying goes, there but for the grace of God go I, so Quinn hopped on an ILIR chartered bus from the Bronx to do his part for the Irish.

    "I support my fellow Irish. I'm here because of them. As an American citizen I have rights and today I'm exercising them," Quinn said.

    "The situation is getting pretty desperate. We have to fight. I'm here and a lot of people who work for me are here. I gave them the day off because this is so important."

    Fergus has been living here since 2000 without status. "And it's getting tougher," he said. "But to see all these ILIR people here standing up to bat for us is really something. Everyone is trying. Hopefully something good will come of it."

    Fergus and the rest of the lobbyists looked at the list of senator office numbers by the elevator " the name "Cheney VP" stood out. Room 225.

    "Oh, how can we get to him?" one girl asked.

    "And then he could tell President Bush."

    Alas, the Cheney room proved somewhat elusive in that no one could find it. But there was a small room marked "Finance Committee" nearby. One of the girls went in.

    "Oh don't bother, the Finance Committee doesn't mean anything to us," another ILIR rep said.

    This young lady wasn't taking no for an answer, though. If the door had been marked janitor's closet she was still going to pay a visit.

    "The Finance Committee would be real interested in us if we became legal, because then we could pay all our taxes," she reasoned. Point taken.

    Next up was Senator Mark Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas " also known as Bill Clinton territory. "Sure he was the greatest Irishman who ever came out of that state," one lobbyist remarked before opening the door.

    "Hello. Can we see the senator?" Quinn inquired.

    "Sorry, but he's not here right now," was the reply.

    "Okay, can we count on him for support for the Kennedy/McCain bill that would legalize the Irish?" asked Quinn.

    "Well, I'm not sure on that, I don't know what he has done about it," said the aide.

    Again, the Clinton connection. "Tell your boss that President Clinton was a great Irishman and he would love to see us legalized," said someone from the back.

    Laughter " some of it perhaps ironic " from the aide. Clinton and Pryor, though both Democrats representing the same state, haven't always been known to see eye to eye.

    "I will make sure and tell him all you Irish people were here," the aide promised as he passed out office business cards.

    Now it was Senator Pete Domenici's turn to see how the Irish can lobby. And as it turns out, his office staffers had seen it all before.

    "You know, a bunch of people from your group have already been to see us," chirped Leanne, an aide to the Republican senator who is a son of Italian immigrants. "Is there anyone in your group from New Mexico?"

    "No," one ILIR lobbyist said, "but one of our prominent New Yorkers, Don Imus, has a ranch in New Mexico! Does that count?"

    "I guess it does," Leanne laughed, before searching for an aide to meet the delegation. One was out to lunch, another was busy. Could ILIR return at 3 p.m. for a meeting? Absolutely.

    Next door to Senator Domenici's office is that of Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. Jackpot! It was as if St. Patrick's Day had come early.

    The two female aides at the door were delighted to see the group. "We've seen many of you already," one said, "but that's okay because we'll take you again and again, especially if you keep talking with those accents!"

    Kohl, the aides said, was fully behind ILIR's Kennedy/McCain push. "He's spoken out in favor of it and is very supportive," one gushed.

    "You know," the other aide said, "I'm almost all Irish, so it's really great to see you guys!"

    "It's great to be here," Fergus said. "And keep talking to your boss about us!"

    Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, was next. An all-important member of the Judiciary Committee, Feinstein has been iffy on whether to support a guest worker program that could legalize the undocumented.

    Sure enough, the bases in her office were covered. "Some of you did stop by earlier," an aide said, "and Bart Murphy had a meeting with us."

    Murphy, the national chairman of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers in the U.S., and a resident of San Francisco, has been working with Feinstein's office for some time on the issue. He and a few dozen other Irish Californians flew in for the ILIR day the evening before, and Feinstein's people clearly took notice.

    "Senator Feinstein is definitely aware of your concerns," the aide added.

    Looking down from Feinstein's office on the third floor of the Hart building, it was easy to see why many of the Senate aides were already familiar with ILIR. There was a sea of green and white t-shirts visible a couple of floors down by the exit, some filing out, others waiting to get in.

    And looking outside a hall window towards the street, there were more t-shirts, hundreds of them, walking from building to building in the crisp, dry air. By now it was crystal clear " Washington was experiencing an Irish invasion the likes of which had never been seen before.

    Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican from Tennessee, was next on the call list. "Did you have a meeting?" his aide asked.

    "No," Quinn replied, "we're just here to ask for his support for the Kennedy/McCain bill." And off the aide went, looking for a more senior staffer. Her colleague at the front desk smiled and offered sustenance for the lobbyists.

    "Would any of you like some M&Ms?" she asked, pointing to a big jar of the multi-colored candies.

    "Oh no thanks, this t-shirt is tight enough as it is," laughed one of the larger male members of the ILIR delegation.

    Then emerged Kim Kirkpatrick, a Memphis native and one of Alexander's senior aides. "He hasn't come out with a formal statement yet, but he does appreciate the importance of diversity in our country," she told the lobbyists.

    "Let's keep in touch about this," she added while passing out her contact information. "I'm Irish. Lots of my relatives came here a long time ago."

    Senator Richard Lugar's office then loomed. The five-term Republican from Indiana is the chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, and his work to that effect was clearly visible on his walls.

    "There's a picture of Bono," one lobbyist said. Sure enough, it was a photo of the U2 frontman and Lugar in a meeting, smiling at each other, undoubtedly discussing Bono's crusade on behalf of Africa.

    "We're in the right place now if he's got a picture of Bono on his walls," said another.

    Angelina Jolie and the senator were in an 8x10 frame not too far away from the Bono photo.

    "I heard she was getting married in Offaly," another ILIR member said.

    Out came Lugar's chief scheduler. "How can I help you?" he asked.

    "We'd like to see the senator and talk to him about legalizing the Irish and the Kennedy/McCain bill," said Fergus.

    "He's not here right now."

    "Do you know where he stands on Kennedy/McCain?" asked Fergus.

    "My job is to just manage his time, not his policy," came the reply. "Do you have any literature?"

    The folders were all gone at that point. All the ILIR reps had were the shirts on their back, literally. One came off.

    "You want me to give him this t-shirt?" the scheduler asked somewhat incredulously. "Okay. Best of luck to you all."

    At that point, the lobbyists, about 40 in this particular group, thought it best to further divide in an effort to conquer. Some made their way back to the Judiciary Committee to corner the senators as they reconvened at 2 p.m. for further immigration debate.

    Others made their way to the House of Representatives, and some returned back to the ILIR headquarters at the Holiday Inn next to the Capitol for the political rally scheduled for 1 p.m.

    A couple of the girls went in search of a quick bite to eat, and spoke about their current state of mind on the way to the exit.

    "We can't go home, we can't get driver's licenses, we really can't do anything now," said one who lives in Woodside.

    "We don't want to live at home, we just want to be able to see our families, see our parents, our nieces and nephews. We want to live here because we love it. And right now we're desperate."

    But sometimes good can spring from such dire circumstances, as last Wednesday's massive show of strength from ILIR and its followers showed. The day offered a chance to forget about things like driver's licenses and Social Security numbers, and an opportunity to help create a new future.

    It was all about empowerment, really. And the ILIR members put the high-priced Jack Abramoffs of the world to shame. Who needs to spend millions on lobbyists when a simple t-shirt with a powerful message will do?

    And so let it be known " on Wednesday, March 2, 2006, the Irish went to Washington. And everybody noticed.

  3. #3
    Now, we're supposed to legalize them because they're Irish?! I wonder what the Pakistanis and Poles were up to? I don't think there are any Pakistani Congresspeople (there may be an Indian) to lobby. But you can bet there are quite a few Poles. The point: appeals of this sort contribute to the balkanization of America, particularly if they're successful.

  4. #4
    "We don't want to live at home, we just want to be able to see our families, see our parents, our nieces and nephews. We want to live here because we love it. And right now we're desperate."
    These girls sound like spoiled brats. They haven't even the excuse of how poor Ireland is, because it isn't. It's booming so much, that even Polish plumbers want to immigrate there! They're just too lazy to try to immigrate legally.

  5. #5
    What a DUMMY you are, Aliba !

    It is to show what IRISH did to lobby Congressmen (with virtually no resourses !).
    So others may learn from them.

  6. #6
    "Legalize the Irish in what respect? Have they done something illegal?" the aide wondered.

    "No, we're here for immigration reform. We're asking for the senator's support for the Kennedy/McCain bill," Fergus said.
    What a liar! Of course they've done something illegal. But it doesn't sound good to actually admit that.

  7. #7
    Oh, please. Just how sympathetic a hearing do you think a bunch of Chinese or Pakistanis pulling this would get?! Assuming they even got allowed free rein of the building?

    Let's see now. Many of the Congresspeople or staff that they talked to were of Irish ancestry, but with it far enough in the past that the reasons their ancestors left are "romantic". As I've pointed out before, McCain and Kennedy are both of Irish origin. One staffer thought how "cute" their accents were. These were also English-speaking Irish, and you've heard of Irish blarney, no doubt?

    You might also remember that these illegals probably overstayed visas. Try that with some other ethnic groups, who come here illegally, and they'd never be able to get in the building--no acceptable ID.

  8. #8
    Anti-Immigrant-Arab-Aliba is highly agitated in wake of IRISH support for comprehensive immigration reform .

  9. #9
    Of course I'm highly agitated. These Irish are illegal aliens. NOT immigrants.

  10. #10
    Of course, from the sound of it, these lobbyists got the usual noncommittal song-and-dance from the staff.

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