Malachy McAllister is facing deportation before the end of this month
By Ray O’Hanlon
Saturday, November 29th could be Malachy McAllister’s last day in America.
The Belfast man has been told by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that arrangements for his deportation have been confirmed for that day.
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“I must report to an ICE office in Newark Airport at 3.30 p.m.,” McAllister told the Echo.
“ICE agents will escort me to the plane and accompany me on the flight to Dublin. No family members will be allowed to travel with me,” he said.
“It is clear to me that DHS wants me to suffer the indignity and the spectacle of being deported and banned from the U.S. forcing my partner and son to leave and depriving me from ever returning to the U.S. to visit my children and grandchildren.”
And he added: “This is a slap in the face to Irish America and congressional leaders who have supported me and the Good Friday Agreement, especially retiring congressman Peter King who has championed my cause since 1997 and has been instrumental in bringing peace to Northern Ireland.
“We should be moving beyond recrimination.”
McAllister has described the stress of the last several months as being “unbearable.”
He said: “If I’m deported back to Ireland thirty one years after my family and I fled for our lives it will be gut wrenching to say the least, and will make absolutely no sense and be profoundly unjustified.
“My family and I were lucky to survive the attempted assassination at our home in Belfast in 1988, but our journey to safety, as many know, hasn’t been easy.
“I love this country and I will do whatever it takes to remain here with my children and grandchildren and I’m asking Irish America to stay engaged and stand with me.”
Six months ago, McAllister was given yet another reprieve from deportation after his case was explained directly to then Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, by Congressman King and Senator Charles Schumer. That bipartisan effort prevented McAllister’s deportation on April 30.
McAleenan was due to depart his office at the beginning of this week though at presstime Tuesday he was still listed as acting secretary on the DHS website.