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McAllister again faces deportation date

Malachy McAllister


By Ray O’Hanlon

Malachy McAllister is deemed fit to stay in the United States one minute, and deemed deportable the next.

For one minute just substitute six months.

The New Jersey resident secured a last minute reprieve earlier in the summer but when he recently reported, as requested, to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deportation and Removals field office in Newark, he was ordered (after a two hour wait) to report back on October 28 with a one way plane ticket to Ireland.

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Then he has to leave the U.S. on or before November 30.

Meantime, McAllister’s ability to make a living as a contractor has been severely compromised as a result of the length of his extension.

In the past, the Belfast native was permitted to remain and work in the U.S. one year at a time, this as a result of considerable political and community support.

Now he gets just six months.

“My work permit and driver’s license expired last March and because I was only granted a six month extension this doesn’t allow enough time for a work application to be processed,” McAllister said.

“New Jersey DMV requires a work permit in order to be granted an extension of a driver’s license.

“I can’t legally drive or work along with all the other requirements on my order of supervision which has been in force since 2003. Any default would almost certainly result in immediate deportation.

“I have had my own business and have employed American citizens for twenty years. I have worked hard and paid my taxes. I am now being forced to give up everything I have worked for and the American dream is being stripped from me slowly but surely.

“This is mental and psychological torture that is not only affecting my health, but has had an impact on my whole family.

“When will enough be enough?”

McAllister secured a last minute reprieve at the end of April this year after an unprecedented effort on his behalf that included direct contact with the Acting Secretary for Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Peter King (R-NY).

McAllister has also been backed for a number of years in his bid to remain in the U.S. by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his own congressional representative, Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ). Other congressional backers include Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ).

McAllister’s battle to remain in the U.S. is not entirely focused on himself.

Two of his 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.

McAllister, once a member of the INLA, fled Belfast in 1988 with his wife and four children when loyalists launched a gun attack on their home. The family first fled to Canada and later crossed the border into the U.S. after being cleared through by U.S. border officials.

Malachy’s wife, Bernadette, died in 2004.