Absent jpg

No Irish to apply

Absent jpg

Absent jpg

The Federal Building in Lower Manhattan

By Ray O’Hanlon

The Irish were in the thick of the fight for American independence.

Lately, they seem to be absent from the ranks of new Americans.

This would certainly appear to be the case in the specific - though not necessarily definitive - context of two swearing-in ceremonies for new citizens held in New York in the run-up to the July 4th holiday.

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The first ceremony, held on June 19th and conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was held, according to a release, “in celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month.”

150 new Americans from 42 countries were sworn in at the gathering in the Federal Building at 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan.

Ireland was not among the 42.

In a second ceremony conducted Tuesday of this week at Brooklyn’s historic Old Stone House, 20 new citizens from 17 countries participated.

Again, Ireland was absent from the list of nations in a ceremony which, according to a release, was part of “USCIS’ annual Independence Day celebration.”

The two New York ceremonies were but a fraction of more than fifty naturalization ceremonies being held across the country from July 1 through July 4.

But given that they were in New York, the Irish absence - in what is the fiftieth anniversary year since passage of the 1965 immigration reform act – appeared all the more glaring.

Many Irish immigration advocates see the ’65 act as a closing of the door to large scale legal Irish immigration to the United States.