Irish Apostolate USA Message on Immigration Reform Nov 2014

Executive Action

We want to thank all of you for your advocacy efforts over the years.  Although we haven’t reached our goal of comprehensive immigration reform, we will at least see some administrative relief for our immigrant communities due to President Obama’s Executive Action.

The Irish Apostolate USA is pleased to work with the Irish Embassy and Consulates,the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers, AOH/LAOH and other Irish organizations in providing information and education for our Irish communities across the United States.

Public Information meetings for the Irish communities are already beginning this week in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Boston and San Francisco.  A complete listing of the meetings can be found here. 

We understand that many in the community will be disappointed that they do not meet the eligibility requirements for administrative relief.  The IAUSA along with our colleagues will not stop advocating on their behalf until CIR legislation is passed.

Bishop Kirby welcomes Presidents Obama’s decision on behalf of the ‘undocumented’ Irish living in the USA

Irish Bishop Conf Logo

Bishop Kirby said “I welcome President Obama’s change in the deportation system.  The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions serve to underline the complexity of the problems surrounding migration.”

Bishop Kirby continued, “Drawing from our pastoral experience, Irish bishops are acutely aware of the human impact on families when relatives are unable to travel to Ireland to see their loved ones, and in particular to visit their aging parents.  Our undocumented emigrants have faced great personal turmoil and pain as they have been prevented from participating in key moments of family life back home such as baptisms, marriages and when a loved one is seriously ill or has died.  Their family life existence in the United States has similarly been curtailed by being placed under the daily stress of constant fear of arrest and deportation.  The quality of life of the children of our undocumented living in the US has been particularly compromised in this regard.

“The care for migrants/people on the move is given a particular significance by Pope Francis in his message for ‘World Day for Migrants and Refugees’ for 18 January next when he says, ‘It is necessary to respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation, in such a way as to make the conditions of migrants more humane.’

“I wish to express my gratitude to the members of the Irish Apostolate USA who are the active arm of the Bishops’ Council for Emigrants in the United States.  The Irish Apostolate has worked tirelessly on behalf of our undocumented.  The staff offer pastoral care for the undocumented on a daily basis, and also advocate tirelessly on their behalf.  At this time I wish to thank successive Irish governments for their support over many years on this issue and emigrant support more generally,” Bishop Kirby said.

Administrative Relief that may help some of the Undocumented Irish

A new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program will allow undocumented people who have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation, if the person has been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 providing they meet other criteria.

The existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be expanded and now will cover people who entered the U.S. before their sixteenth birthday and have lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. People who were “aged out” of DACA by being older than age 31 on June 15, 2012, are now eligible to apply, regardless of how old they are now.

Certain spouses of lawful permanent residents may be able to get their lawful permanent resident (“green card”) status through a waiver process. Spouses of U.S. citizens are currently able to apply through this process.

NOTE:  Even if you are eligible for these programs, you cannot apply for them yet! The government expects that it will start accepting applications within three months from now for those eligible for expanded DACA, and within six months from now for those eligible for DAPA.

Please go to the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers website: for the location of the Irish Immigration Center nearest you for assistance and referral to trustworthy immigration attorneys.

How You Can Prepare for

Administrative Relief

If you believe you are eligible, begin preparing now by gathering documents that prove: – that you were in the U.S. on November 20, 2014

– that you have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, 


– that you have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter.

Begin saving for the $465 application processing fee. 


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services –

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. –

National Immigration Law

American Immigration Lawyers

Other websites:

If you know someone who is in immigration detention and is eligible for one of these programs, advise them to identify themselves to their case officer, or the ICE Information Line at 888-351-4024, and explain that they are eligible for one of these new programs.


Urge Congress to Support the President’s Action on Immigration

Some members of Congress have threatened to stop administrative action through legislation, legal action or blocking funding for implementation.It is important for Congress to hear from people across the country that we support the President expanding deferred action.

President Obama has signed fewer executive orders than any president in 130 years. Deferred action is one of the many long-standing forms of prosecutorial discretion available to the Executive Branch. Indeed, every U.S. President has used their authority to offer temporary immigration relief to groups in need since at least 1956. Ronald Reagan used categorical grants of deferred action for large groups of undocumented immigrants in 1987, as did George H.W. Bush in 1990. George W. Bush exercised prosecutorial discretion in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for over 40 percent of the then-unauthorized population.

Tell Congress that you support the President using his authority to expand deferred action!  Call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with your Representative.

You can also call the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 or find your Representative’s direct line at

Join the Justice for Immigrants Campaign

The Justice for Immigrants Campaign continues to build its grassroots support for comprehensive immigration reform.
If you want to be notified of immigration legislation updates , NOW is the time to join the JFI Action Alert list.  Sign up at:
The Irish Apostolate USA is the umbrella organization for the Irish Immigration Pastoral and Outreach Centers in the United States, under the direction of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants.Please visit our website for more information:

Author: UI