Last minute McAllister appeal to President Trump

Congressman Peter King

By Ray O'Hanlon

As Malachy McAllister faces deportation today, Tuesday, a group of Congress members have penned a last minute appeal to President Trump on the Belfast man's behalf.

The letter, released by the office of Congressman Peter King and tweeted by him Tuesday morning, has been signed by thirteen members of the House and Senate from both parties.

McAllister is required to report for deportation today in Newark, New Jersey.

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The letter states: "Dear Mr. President, We are writing to ask for your intervention in the case of Malachy McAllister. Mr. McAllister is due to be deported on June 9th.

"We remain grateful for the actions you took to secure Mr. McAllister a six-month extension in November. We request that you again urge the Department of Homeland Security to exercise its discretion, as it has done previously, to suspend the deportation order against Mr. McAllister.

"Mr. McAllister has sought political asylum in the United States based on past persecution he suffered and fear that his life will be in danger if he is returned to Ireland or Northern Ireland. Additionally, Mr. McAllister’s worries are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and a fractured collar bone he suffered a week ago.

"We ask you to consider that Mr. McAllister has resided in the United States as a valued member of his community for over 20 years. Mr. McAllister has also been a strong proponent of the Irish Peace Process in accordance with the policies of the Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump Administrations.

"During the time of the Good Friday Agreement Mr. McAllister played a leading role in urging the Irish-American community to support a negotiated peace and has continued those efforts advocating for its preservation and implementation. Mr. McAllister has expressed great regret over his actions nearly 40 years ago. A

"s Judge Marion Trump-Barry stated in her 2006 concurring opinion in McAllister v. Atty. Gen, 444 F.3d 178: 'I cannot help but observe that Malachy's acts, and the ensuing conviction on which the findings of removability and ineligibility for asylum or any other relief was based, bear no relation to any common-sense understanding of what “terrorist activity” really is or should be.'

"When referring to Mr. McAllister and his family Judge Marion Trump-Barry further stated in her concurring opinion: 'I would ask — no, I would implore — the Attorney General to exercise his discretion and permit this deserving family to stay.'

"We are requesting your intervention in Mr. McAllister’s case on the basis of our personal knowledge of Mr. McAllister who has proven himself to be absolutely no threat to this county and a valuable contributor to American society. We thank you for your consideration and your previous support."

The letter is signed by House members King, Bill Pascrell Jr., Brian Fitzpatrick, Richard Neal, James McGovern, Eliot Engel, Frank Pallone Jr., Chris Smith, Marcy Kaptur, Michael Doyle, Albio Sires, Joseph Kennedy III, and William Keating. It has been signed also by Senators Charles Schumer and Bob Menendez.

Since the letter was released, Congressman Tom Suozzi has expressed his support for its content. The Long Island Democrat has also penned a letter of his own to President Trump on McAllister's behalf.