By Ray O’Hanlon
With ten days to go before his scheduled deportation from the United States, Malachy McAllister has support from over forty members of Congress who are backing his bid to remain in the country.
That scheduled deportation is just ten days from today.
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The congressional effort to prevent the deportation of Malachy McAllister has been gathering stems in recent days as the Belfast man contemplates reporting for “removal” from the United States.
Congressman Crowley of New York, and Representatives Peter King of New York and New Jersey’s Bill Pascrell, have written letters on McAllister’s behalf to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, and the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sarah Saldaña.
It is those letters that are drawing the sign-on signatures of now dozens of Congress legislators.
Crowley has made direct contact with Saldaña’s office on behalf of McAllister, who fled Belfast with his wife and then four children in 1988, this after loyalists attacked his Belfast home, firing 26 bullets into the living room.
Over the twenty years that he has lived in the United States, McAllister, who lost his wife Bernadette to cancer in 2004, has pleaded for asylum on two occasions and both times was denied.
However, support from leading political figures, not least Senator Bob Menendez in New Jersey, has resulted in McAllister being able to remain in the U.S. on a year-to-year basis.
Speaking recently on the Adrian Flannelly radio show, Rep. Crowley, a Democrat whose district spans Queens and the Bronx, said that he was of the view that if evidence that has since surfaced – this in a report on loyalist violence and security forces collusion compiled by Sir Desmond De Silva – was now presented on McAllister’s behalf, he would be deemed eligible for political asylum.
McAllister, who is the father of a four-year-old U.S. citizen child, has been ordered to present himself at the Department of Homeland Security offices in Newark on Monday, April 25 for a process known as “surrender for removal.”
He has been instructed to bring with him “a small travel bag.”