a recent soiree in that palatial penthouse, the
official residence of Dublin's man in New York,
Ambassador Tim O'Connor, I was delighted to have
the opportunity to congratulate the Celtic Tiger's
deputy PM, Tanaiste and Minister for Justice Michael
McDowell, on his tough immigration legislation
"The Immigration, Residence and Protection
Bill 2007", which is about to be introduced
to the Dail. The bill is a commonsensical response
to the security challenges that face Ireland and,
indeed, all western nations. It is also a laudable
proactive measure to protect the economic interests
of, and middle class living standards in, the
Celtic Tiger. The indications are that the bill
will enjoy a successful passage as, in principle,
it enjoys the support of the main opposition party,
Fine Gael. That party's Justice spokesman, Jim
O'Keefe has welcomed the proposal. In recent days,
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has made similar noises.
There is, of course, the anticipated whinging
and whining from the Left.
I encountered Tanaiste McDowell or "Mick
the Barrister" - as he is colloquially known
- he exuded defensiveness. Perhaps he incorrectly
sensed that he was in the company of someone other
than an ideological soul mate, and was anticipating
a verbal assault from a crazed leftie. Mick quickly
elaborated that his "get tough" immigration
bill was what the Celtic Tiger's electorate wanted
and, consequently, that is what he would give
it. How refreshing! A politician who actually
responds to the supplications of his electorate!
Well done Mick! Betraying further defensiveness,
he hastened to add that he felt "hypocritical"
moving in Irish American circles, being the Celtic
Tiger's immigration "hard man", the
effective Irish Tom Tancredo, and, yet, a member
of a government that is actively in cahoots with
the American Left and elitist cheap labor advocates,
in promoting destabilizing and detrimental immigration
policy over here. He admitted as much again in
his public remarks a little later. Yes, Mick!
If only your government would refrain in its naked
collaboration with the American based Irish Left
- ILIR in its latest manifestation - to frustrate
the will of the vast majority of the U.S. electorate.
We just want to secure our borders and rationalize
our immigration system as you are so successfully
doing in Ireland.
Top marks for honesty, though, Mick! At least,
you didn't endeavor to defend the indefensible,
or, to negotiate your way around the nonnegotiable,
as a less capable politico, dispatched by Dublin,
might have embarrassingly attempted to do. As
they say, the first step towards resolving a problem,
or, in this case, glaring inconsistencies, is
admitting that they exist in the first place.
what are these glaring inconsistencies about which
Tanaiste McDowell is feeling so "hypocritical"?
Illumination can be readily had by analyzing his
immigration bill and other recent Irish Government
opining on the Celtic Tiger's immigration policy.
"The Immigration, Residence and Protection
Bill 2007" non European nationals who commit
a range of offences, including traffic offenses,
will be subject to summary deportation.
summary as in immediate with no appeal, as in
here today, gone tomorrow! No dilly dallying by
the Celtic Tiger's immigration polizei!
non EU nationals will have to be in possession,
at all times, of residence permits in the form
of biometric identification cards. The cards
would contain information such as fingerprints,
which would be required to gain access to public
liberal distribution of magnetic welfare benefits
to illegals in the Celtic Tiger!
Indeed, according to Steve Malanga of the prestigious,
authoritative Manhattan Institute,
restricts legal immigrants from receiving many
social welfare benefits. Moreover, in 2004,
Irish citizens voted to amend their constitution
to stop granting automatic citizenship to children
born in the country of foreign parents, after
wide spread reports that immigrants were"
- crossing the Rio Grande - er, no, sorry I
mean "flying to Dublin to give birth,
because Irish law allowed the parents to take
up residence in the country with their citizen
- child thereafter. Now, at least one parent
must be legally resident in Ireland for three
out of four years before the child's birth for
their baby to become a citizen."
cries of nativist, bigot, racist and "Know
- Nothing" from those on the Left, still
ring in the ears of GOP/conservative legislators,
who tried, in the last Congress, to initiate a
constitutional referendum to allow for a similar
change to U.S. citizenship law.
non EU national in the state without a residency
permit will be deemed to be illegal and subject
to summary deportation.
that's summary, as in immediate with no appeal,
as in here today, gone tomorrow!
would be liable to the state for the costs of
their deportation process. A readily enforceable
commitment to keep the peace and obey the law
would be required to receive a residency permit.
free rides in the Celtic Tiger! No catch and release
McDowell has also requested the Attorney General
to streamline the judicial review system for
asylum seekers who have failed to obtain refugee
status. He wants it replaced by a brief procedure,
like a habeas corpus hearing before a single
member of the judiciary.
here today, gone tomorrow! A quick dispatch!
has also emerged that McDowell's bill includes
provisions for the establishment of detention
centers for asylum seekers from countries with
a high level of application abuse.
seekers would be held in the centers until their
applications were fully processed. Then they
would either be granted asylum or deported.
The Tanaiste recently told the Sunday Tribune
that "persons unlawfully here will be excluded
from all but the most basic of services. I cannot
accept that people should profit from illegality
. . ."
also indicated that he is proposing a reform of
the Irish naturalization process.
applicants for citizenship would have to demonstrate
a minimum knowledge of the Irish state and an
ability to speak English. "Granting citizenship
to someone who has little or no understanding
of the Irish nation or state, and little or
no capacity linguistically to participate in
the day to day democratic life of the community
is questionable", he stated.
when it comes to securing borders - their own!
- there are certainly no flies on those Celtic
Tiger boys. Or, if there are, they're certainly
not illegal ones!
addition, the Celtic Tiger is about to institute,
or has instituted, measures "to protect
its society and economy" by placing restrictions
on people from Bulgaria and Romania so as to
prevent inundation, following those countries
accession to the European Community on Jan 1.
These are people who should have automatic immigration
rights to any country of the EU, under the spirit,
if not the letter, of the Treaty of Rome. Can
you imagine the uproar from the Left, the UN and
the ILIR/Dublin axis, if the U.S. Government enacted
immigration restrictions against a particular
country, or group of countries, say Mexico, Guatemala
the subject of amnesty, which the Irish Government
so feverishly promotes - exclusively over here
of course! - a certain politician believes that
such a measure could have a "very negative
impact" and that it would attract "large
numbers . . . under the misguided expectation
that they will be granted residency rights."
That wasn't Tom Tancredo or Pete King opining!
That was Taoiseach Bertie Ahern expounding on
the likelihood of an amnesty for illegals in Ireland
- never! - in a recent letter to the Irish Methodist
Church, which was obtained by the Irish Times
under the Irish Freedom of Information Act.
Celtic Tiger's Government, through its surrogate
ILIR, unabashedly pushes union busting guest worker
programs and amnesty in the United States, which
would unleash a Tsunami of cheap labor, thus destroying
middle class living standards. Meanwhile, according
to Steve Malanga, Ireland has reshaped its own
prevent unskilled workers from flooding its
labor markets. So that employers don't import
immigrants in occupations where workers are
already plentiful, aiming to drive down wages,
Ireland won't grant visas in job categories
for which the market deems the labor supply
adequate. Virtually all the jobs for which the
country won't grant visas - from hotel workers,
to retail salespeople to clerical staff - are
low skilled. Ireland requires that employers
try to fill vacancies in those jobs from Ireland
itself or with workers from other EU countries."
consistent, unsubstantiated, insulting refrain
we get from the Left, ILIR and the elitist cheap
labor advocates is that "Immigrants do the
jobs Americans won't do". However, experience
has consistently demonstrated that Americans will
do any work if you pay them a living wage. In
recent weeks, the meat processing industry has
had large swathes torn from its predominantly
illegal alien work force, as hundreds have been
arrested, on identify theft and immigration charges,
in federal swoops. However, the industry has not
ground to a standstill! Instead, the affected
companies have discovered that after ratcheting
up remuneration to a living wage level and improving
working conditions, they have been inundated with
applications from those "lazy" Americans
who are quite willing to do the jobs they previously
wouldn't do for slave wages. Despite the scare
mongering of the elitist doomsayers, with 300
million Americans, there will be no jobs that
Americans won't do, if the labor market is allowed
to find its own fair and just point of equilibrium,
without distorting it by turning on the spigot
of cheap labor.
one juxtaposes McDowell's tough legislation and
the other commonsensical protective elements of
the Celtic Tiger's immigration policy with Dublin's
cynical, dubious, "hypocritical", efforts
to emasculate the U.S. immigration system, even
the most disinterested Irish American must be
appalled at the audacity and brazenness in which
the Irish Government has aggressively interjected
itself into U.S. domestic affairs. High on Celtic
Tiger steroids and intoxicated by the current
affluence, the mandarins of Iveagh House certainly
have liathroidi galore. As they practice the Machiavellian
"black art of diplomacy", just what
are those mandarins playing at??? Too clever by
half! It is heartening to see that the Celtic
Tiger is adamant that it will not make the same
mistakes that the United States has made over
the past forty years. However, the audacious hypocrisy
leaves one breathless!!
fairness to "Mick the Barrister", he
is probably the most pro-American political leader
in Ireland, and, most certainly, in the EU. A
highly courageous philosophical disposition to
hold in today's Europe and, indeed, Celtic Tiger.
In a recent speech to the Forum on Europe, McDowell
decried "rising anti Americanism in Europe"
and emphatically declared that "the Atlantic
should not be allowed to become a gulf for peoples
to turn their backs on one another". He further
elaborated that he is opposed "to those who
would aim to make Europe stronger so that it can
have louder and more dangerous arguments with
America". McDowell outlined his opposition
to a federalist Europe stating that it would create
a new "imperium" and affirmed that he
is "implacably opposed to the conversion
of the European Union into a super state in which
all member states would be subjugated to a centralized,
overly federalist and unaccountable apparatus
of power.'' Don't you just love this guy???? Mick,
ever consider the "American Friends of Michael
McDowell, Inc."???? "Mick the Barrister's"
international outlook may jive perfectly with
what the future holds. According to authoritative
author Mark Steyn, in his book "America
Alone", the U.S. National Council on
Intelligence predicts that the EU experiment,
enveloped, as it is, in an anti Democratic ethos
and riddled with inconsistencies, will have imploded
by 2020. He and other commentators also opine
that by that stage the demographically declining
European core will be well on its way to absorption
into a growing Islamic caliphate.
the embarrassing, glaring inconsistencies about
which the Tanaiste so rightly feels "hypocritical",
perhaps he should take a trot across Stephen's
Green to the Celtic Tiger's Foggy Bottom and explain
to poor misguided Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern
- always the deer in the headlights look! - and
the mandarins of Iveagh House, the error of their
ways. Irish Americans are not as intellectually
challenged as said mandarins obviously think we
are! McDowell should also take a measuring tape
to get the dimensions of the drapes! Who knows???
A cabinet re-shuffle, or the next election, could
mean a pro - American, worldly and amenable Aire
de Gnothai Eachtracha. Interested, Mick?????
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs. There's
a nice ring to that!
on this side of the Atlantic, if the challenge
was just to "Legalize the Irish" then
an expeditious resolution could be found. However,
since 9/11 with the nation at war, the vast majority
of the U.S. electorate is intense about having
genuine border security, not just as a defense
against the radical Islamic threat but also to
preserve our culture, to protect the middle class
standard of living, and to defend the hard fought
gains of the American Labor movement, which are
increasingly being eroded. Even congressional
immigration hawks, in principle, don't have a
problem with the illegal Irish - English speaking,
readily assimilable, skilled and educated, completely
independent of our over generous welfare system,
as they are. Irish immigrants don't undercut the
American workforce. They compete with it on a
level playing field. Indeed, there is an acknowledgment
that existence of an illegal Irish community is
a glaring representation of the dysfunctional
nature of the admissions policy implemented by
the 1965 Kennedy Immigration Act, and of its failure
to represent our economic, cultural and security
interests. As GOP congressional leader Roy Blunt
affirmed: "The Irish are just the kind of
immigrants we need." GOP/ conservative legislators
and activists indicated in the last Congress that
the Irish problem could have been expeditiously
resolved - nod, nod, wink, wink, How's Your Uncle???
- far outside the parameters of the infinitely
more complex, larger immigration debate. We could
learn a lesson from our Australian cousins. The
Aussies, of course, having obtained their own
special visa package by staying well below the
radar screen and well away from the complicated
because of the aggressive, brazen, partisan, inept,
irresponsible, and heavy handed antics of ILIR,
a special deal for the Irish is probably off the
radar for the foreseeable future, if not forever.
The grossly irresponsible actions of ILIR in severely
mitigating and distorting the intrinsic advantageous
qualifications of the Irish immigrant by aligning
the "Legalize the Irish" cause with
hysterical, assimilation averse, Stars and Stripes
burning, intimidating, marching mobs like ANSWER,
La Raza and the Reconquistodor Movement, armed
with their anti American agendas, have done untold
damage to the cause. It has certainly infuriated
many Irish Americans, politicians, pundits and
Of course, the ideological foundation, contextual
background and rabid record of its "leadership"
suggest that there is every indication that ILIR,
as far as said "leadership" is concerned,
is merely an ethnic vehicle of the Left and is
determinedly pursuing a far broader, extreme left
wing, partisan agenda other than simply "Legalizing
the Irish". Indeed, it may very well be that
the fortunes of the unsuspecting illegal Irish
have already become a hostage to that broader
objective. The involvement of the Celtic Tiger's
Government, a foreign government, in bankrolling
ILIRs anti - American, partisan radicalism and
its attacks on Irish American GOP/conservative
politicians like Pete King, and others like Tom
Tancredo, has left Irish Americans aghast . As
the man said: "T'is the illegal Irish I feel
sorry for!" It is completely understandable
that the illegal Irish would grasp at straws.
However, the "leadership" of ILIR should
have known better, should have been able to read
the mood of the nation, should have been able
to read the nuances and dynamics of the debate.
It has either disastrously failed, or has completely
hoodwinked, its purported constituency.
The first obligation of any politician is to get
elected. The second obligation is to remain in
power. One of the lessons learnt on last Election
Day, as the pro amnesty cabal was decidedly chastened,
was that with over 70% of the electorate against,
there are no votes in pushing amnesty and guest
workers programs. The immigration issue is volatile
and divisive. With the Democrats fighting to retain
their congressional majority of conservative Blue
Dogs and trying to capture the White House, and
with the GOP attempting to retain the Presidency
and regain control of Congress by winning back
Caucasian middle class voters, it is likely that
politicos of all hews and stripes will run well
clear of such an explosive issue. Immigration
is probably sidelined for any meaningful consideration
until well after the 2008 Presidential Election.
Of course, politicians, being politicians, will
still mouth the tailor - made soothing platitudes
and play to the various ethnic and special interest
However, with the U.S. Senate's passage last week,
by a margin of 94-0, of an amendment to the Minimum
Wage Bill, the indications are that the new realpolitik
has swiftly dawned on the political class. The
amendment, authored by GOP Senator Jeff Sessions
of Alabama, would ban federal contractors from
government work for ten years, if it was discovered
that they were hiring illegal aliens. In addition,
companies seeking, but not already holding, federal
contracts would be prohibited from obtaining them
for up to seven years, if it was discovered that
they had illegal aliens on their books. Before
the successful passage of his amendment, Sessions
told the Senate, " the statistics are quite
clear . . . large flows of illegal workers . .
. pull down the wages of American citizens who
go to work in those similar jobs . . . Illegal
workers . . . accept wages less than the average
worker would accept. "
With the presence of Dublin's immigration hawk,
Michael McDowell, "Ireland's Tom Tancredo",
one anticipated that in the spirit of ideological
consistency the humble abode of Tim O'Connor would
have been besieged by thousands of protesting
ILIR apparatchiks , showing solidarity with the
oppressed and down trodden illegal immigrants
of the Celtic Tiger. However, not a single protest
pickets in sight. Instead "La crème
de la crème" of the organization,
was upstairs, busy supping and hob nobbing with
the man himself. To paraphrase a famous, fictitious
figure from Denmark: "Oh hypocrisy, thy name
aside, it was a good night, as these bashes generally
are. There was the enjoyable banter, the verbal
sparring and jousting, and the extraction of the
proverbial substance that occurs at such affairs.
There was, of course, the hospitality of Tim O'Connor
and the consulate staff. As Tim says, he welcomes
a "broad church", which no doubt might
explain to the gentle reader how your humble scribe
happened to gain admission. Contrary to the stuffed
- shirt, aloof, authoritarian image of Tanaiste
McDowell that is cultivated in the Celtic Tiger's
media, it was a pleasure to find an affable, jocular
and refreshingly honest political character who
showed himself quite at ease in the company of
Irish Americans. Although, we could quibble with
some of the minutiae on his broader agenda, from
over here it seems that "Mick the Barrister"
is one of the few over there that knows what he
Hurley is president of the Regular Republican
Club, 30th AD, Inc., in Woodside, Queens, New
York City. He is a member of the Queens County
Executive of the Republican Party. Hurley is a
past GOP/Conservative candidate for the NYC Council
in the 26th CD. Active in Irish American affairs,
he is the immediate past president of the County
Cork Association of New York, one of the largest
Irish American organizations in the Tri State
area. In 1987, Hurley was a co - founder of the
Irish Immigration Reform Movement, a grassroots
lobbying organization that went onto secure thousands
of Green Cards for the then burgeoning illegal