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‘Undocumented Irish’ should not be treated as hardened criminals – Boylan

11 March, 2008

Cathal Boylan, MLA for Newry and South Armagh, has voiced his concerns that Irish people working in the USA without proper documentation are being treated like hardened criminals when apprehended by the authorities.

Mr Boylan said:

"I have been informed of a recent case where a young Irish man was put in solitary confinement in a local jail for a week before being deported back home. The opportunity was not afforded him to settle his affairs or even say goodbye to his friends and loved ones. It is frustrating that people, many who have lived and worked in the USA for many years, are treated so harshly.

"Some are leaving behind businesses, which they have actually founded, which were creating employment and were serving the community in which they had settled.

"There is also a concern that those who have spent considerable years in the USA find themselves confronted with a culture shock on their return which they find hard to comprehend. You must recall a lot of these people left Ireland long before the 'Celtic Tiger' or Peace Process and have been in the States for many years.

"I once again appeal to everyone to lobby their MLA's, MP's and TD's to ensure that the plight of Irish immigrants is kept in the spotlight and to continue to support their rights to be treated fairly and receive recognition from the US Government." ENDS

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