Statue of Liberty, symbol of freedom: "Liberty
Enlightening the World", as it is officially
me your tired, your poor, you huddled masses yearning
to breath free. The wretched refuse of your teeming
shore. Send these the homeless, tempest-tossed to
me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
words sound so sincere offering shelter to the oppressed
and those who wish to breath free, yet I wonder how
loud and what meaning they have for Ciarán
Ferry, who now sits in a maximum security prison in
Denver or Malachy McAllister and family, who I have
come to know and help while attending his extradition
hearing in the federal courthouse in New Jersey, do
these words sing true for him and his family?
John McNicholl, who has lived and worked here in Pennsylvania
as a pipe fitter and was selected as Derry Society's
man in 2001, what do those words mean to him and his
family? His wife Frankie, as she is affectionately
called, is a naturalized citizen of the United States,
their children are citizens and yet John, in the early
morning hours as he left his home for work. was set
upon by agents hidden outside of his home and placed
in a vehicle, ripped away from his family and deported.
These families are not terrorists nor would they contemplate
any aggressive action towards their adopted home,
The United States.
It has been recently that actions taken against these
persons and others stems from the Iraq war. When President
Bush invaded Iraq with the British forces as allies,
it appears Mr. Bush is "paying back" favors
for their assistance in siding with the US invasion
of Iraq; these "favors" at a cost of human
suffering upon these families being torn apart.
One can only contemplate the larger strategy that
is yet to be played out between these two politicians,
yet while they play their political games, families
are torn apart, men deported, children left fatherless
regardless of the signing of The Good Friday Agreement,
regardless of the cease fire, and regardless of the
release of all political prisoners and political parties
who signed said agreement.
Why now after all these years, after the families
have lived and worked here, contributed to the community
and to our country, do we confine them to prison,
tear families apart and finally deport them?
One can only look at our governments actions and motives
and wonder why. As an Irish American I feel shame
and embarrassment at the actions our government has
taken in the name of security.
Does not The Statue Of Liberty still proclaim "Give
us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning
to breath free", or has the government turned
a deaf ear and blind eye to those who seek freedom
from oppression and wish to live free. Can a foreign
government dictate and wield so much power that we
would imprison and deport men and families even after
the siging of The Good Friday Agreement? Is this how
American thanks Britian for being our ally during
the invasion of iraq?
Today the Irish, who will be sacrificed tomorrow in
the name of security?
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