Pictured at a meeting in Washington D.C. Wednesday were (l-r): Mark Thompson, Relatives for Justice, Professor Mark McGovern, Malachy McAllister, Senator Charles Schumer, Martin Galvin, AOH, attorney Diane George, Sean Pender, AOH, and Martin Brennan, New York State Director for Senator Schumer.
By Ray O’Hanlon
Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians are peppering the White House today with phone calls in support of Malachy McAllister’s bid to avoid deportation from the United States next week.
And members of the Brehon Law Society were rallying behind another Irishman, Patsy Donnelly, who is battling to continue living in the U.S., his home for three decades.
Donnelly is married to a U.S. citizen. McAllister is the father of a U.S. citizen.
Prior to the phone calling blitz, AOH National President, Judge James McKay, sent a message to Hibernians across the nation.
It stated in part: “Our Hibernian oath commits us that ‘If a brother should be defamed, or be treated unjustly, I will espouse his cause, give him the earliest possible advice and aid him when in distress.’
“Currently, Brother Malachy McAllister and members of his family are in distress. Brother McAllister entered this country legally over twenty years ago and applied for asylum after loyalist paramilitants sprayed his home with submachine gun fire, narrowly missing his children and mother-in-law.
“Malachy’s application for asylum was denied on the basis that during his youth he was incarcerated in Northern Ireland for his activities during the Troubles; activities for which he served his full sentence and was released early for good behavior. During his two decades in the United States, Malachy has complied with all U.S. law, started two successful job-producing businesses, and, due to the untimely death of his first wife, raised two families with children and grandchildren who are American citizens.
“Under current law, Thomas Francis Meager and John Boyle O’Reilly would had been denied asylum as would anyone who participated in the Hungarian Revolution or Prague Spring under Soviet rule.
“There is currently bipartisan legislation before both houses of Congress to address the unforeseen circumstance of the McAllister family in current law. We ask you brothers to take 5 minutes to help another Brother by calling the White House switchboard asking President Trump to hear his sister’s call and stay the deportation of the McAllister family until the legislative process has had a chance to work.”
The message from Judge McKay includes numbers for the White House switchboard: (202)456-1414 or (202)456-1111.
The message states that the switchboard is answered by volunteers “so please be patient and courteous yet clear.”
The message that Hibernians are being asked to deliver states: "I am calling to urge President Trump to instruct Homeland Security to issue a Stay of Deportation for Malachy McAllister, before his scheduled date of deportation, Friday, November 29, 2019."
"In 2006, President Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Barry, implored the Attorney General to allow Malachy and his family to stay here." There is currently bipartisan legislation in both houses of Congress to provide relief to the McAllister family.
"I join our National President Judge James McKay, and our 40,000 members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, America’s largest Irish organization, and fellow Irish Americans in standing up for Malachy McAllister, a law-abiding father, and grandfather of US-born children, a job creator and brave advocate for the Irish Peace Process. I ask that President Trump issue a stay of his 11/29 deportation"
Separately, Judge McKay has penned a letter to President Trump urging a stay on McAllister’s deportation.
In the case of Patsy Donnelly, due for a court hearing in federal immigration court in Manhattan today, the Brehon Law Society released a statement that reads in part: “Patsy Donnelly is a longstanding member of the Irish community. He has been married to an American woman for 30 years and is a loving father and grandfather. He applied for U.S. Citizenship, but the USCIS denied his application because they claim that records generated by the RUC indicate that he was arrested in 1985. He now faces deportation. The official police records that were submitted with his application prove he was never charged or convicted of any offense.
“Patsy is a carpenter and project supervisor. He trains young American workers in the job skills that are needed to work on the high rise construction projects that contribute so much of the NYC economy. After 30 years of marriage, the U.S. government is not only denying Patsy and his family the constitutional right to U.S. citizenship, they are trying to take away his green card and deport him.’
Brehon members were being asked to show up in court as a gesture of solidarity with Donnelly and his family.