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Days ticking down for Malachy McAllister

Malachy McAllister with Cardinal Timothy Dolan


By Ray O’Hanlon

If expressions of support from powerful and influential people are anything to go by, Malachy McAllister should have a chance of remaining in the United States after Tuesday, April 30.

If those expressions of support are ignored by unnamed powerful and influential people in the Department of Homeland Security and the Trump administration, all will have been for naught.

The latest champion of McAllister’s bid to sustain his American life of 23 years and counting is New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

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The cardinal, according to McAllister, has reached out to the White House on the Belfast man’s behalf.

According to McAllister, Irish Ambassador to the United States, Dan Mulhall, has highlighted his support for the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process with Vice Admiral David P. Pekoske, acting Deputy Secretary in DHS.

Others supporting McAllister’s bid to avoid deportation include NYPD PBA President Patrick Lynch and members of the New York 69th Regiment.

Meanwhile, two of Malachy’s children, Nicola and Sean, remain in immigration status limbo. Malachy's seven-year-old American born son, Cadán, is also a potential casualty if his father is deported.

And there are McAllister’s five American-born grandchildren.

Many politicians have rallied to McAllister’s side and Congressman Peter King has written a letter to his fellow Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham, urging another effort to secure a stay of deportation.

King’s letter to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is reported in this week’s print issue of the Echo.

Supporters of McAllister are again pointing to statement some years ago aimed at the Bush administration by President Trump’s sister, former 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Maryanne Trump Barry who stated: “We cannot be the country we should be if, because of the tragic events of September 11th, we knee-jerk remove decent men and women merely because they may have erred at one point in their lives. We should look a little closer; we should care a little more. I would ask - no, I would implore - the Attorney General to exercise his discretion and permit this deserving family to stay.”

Trump Barry added at the time: "Congress's definition of terrorist activity sweeps in not only the big guy, but also the little guy who poses no risk to anyone. It sweeps in Malachy McAllister (and) Malachy's children, Seán and Nicola, are swept in, too.”

She said that were the McAllister family deported, it would mean the words carved on the Statue of Liberty would no longer mean anything.

"I refuse to believe that 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' is now an empty entreaty, but if it is, shame on us," she said.

Meanwhile, McAllister’s legal team has provided DHS with new evidence confirming collusion in the assassination attempt on the McAllister family in 1988.

In addition, said a release from the McAllister campaign, a former loyalist paramilitary leader is currently on trial in Belfast for the attempted murder of McAllister, whose family home was shot up by loyalist gunmen.

It was that home attack that prompted McAllister, his late wife Bernadette, and their four children, to flee Northern Ireland, first to Canada and later the United States.