The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander!

Some inconvenient little inconsistencies that Dublin would rather Irish Americans did not dwell on!

"I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth and they never believe me." - Camillo di Cavour, Italian Statesman

Patrick Hurley • 14 April 2007

At a recent soiree in that palatial penthouse, the official residence of Dublin's man in New York, Ambassador Tim O'Connor, I was delighted to have the opportunity to congratulate the Celtic Tiger's deputy PM, Tanaiste and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, on his tough immigration legislation "The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2007", which is about to be introduced to the Dail. The bill is a commonsensical response to the security challenges that face Ireland and, indeed, all western nations. It is also a laudable proactive measure to protect the economic interests of, and middle class living standards in, the Celtic Tiger. The indications are that the bill will enjoy a successful passage as, in principle, it enjoys the support of the main opposition party, Fine Gael. That party's Justice spokesman, Jim O'Keefe has welcomed the proposal. In recent days, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has made similar noises. There is, of course, the anticipated whinging and whining from the Left.

When I encountered Tanaiste McDowell or "Mick the Barrister" - as he is colloquially known - he exuded defensiveness. Perhaps he incorrectly sensed that he was in the company of someone other than an ideological soul mate, and was anticipating a verbal assault from a crazed leftie. Mick quickly elaborated that his "get tough" immigration bill was what the Celtic Tiger's electorate wanted and, consequently, that is what he would give it. How refreshing! A politician who actually responds to the supplications of his electorate! Well done Mick! Betraying further defensiveness, he hastened to add that he felt "hypocritical" moving in Irish American circles, being the Celtic Tiger's immigration "hard man", the effective Irish Tom Tancredo, and, yet, a member of a government that is actively in cahoots with the American Left and elitist cheap labor advocates, in promoting destabilizing and detrimental immigration policy over here. He admitted as much again in his public remarks a little later. Yes, Mick! If only your government would refrain in its naked collaboration with the American based Irish Left - ILIR in its latest manifestation - to frustrate the will of the vast majority of the U.S. electorate. We just want to secure our borders and rationalize our immigration system as you are so successfully doing in Ireland.

Top marks for honesty, though, Mick! At least, you didn't endeavor to defend the indefensible, or, to negotiate your way around the nonnegotiable, as a less capable politico, dispatched by Dublin, might have embarrassingly attempted to do. As they say, the first step towards resolving a problem, or, in this case, glaring inconsistencies, is admitting that they exist in the first place.

Just what are these glaring inconsistencies about which Tanaiste McDowell is feeling so "hypocritical"? Illumination can be readily had by analyzing his immigration bill and other recent Irish Government opining on the Celtic Tiger's immigration policy.

Under "The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2007" non European nationals who commit a range of offences, including traffic offenses, will be subject to summary deportation.

That's summary as in immediate with no appeal, as in here today, gone tomorrow! No dilly dallying by the Celtic Tiger's immigration polizei!

Your papers please!

All non EU nationals will have to be in possession, at all times, of residence permits in the form of biometric identification cards. The cards would contain information such as fingerprints, which would be required to gain access to public services.

No liberal distribution of magnetic welfare benefits to illegals in the Celtic Tiger!

Indeed, according to Steve Malanga of the prestigious, authoritative Manhattan Institute,

"Ireland restricts legal immigrants from receiving many social welfare benefits. Moreover, in 2004, Irish citizens voted to amend their constitution to stop granting automatic citizenship to children born in the country of foreign parents, after wide spread reports that immigrants were" - crossing the Rio Grande - er, no, sorry I mean "flying to Dublin to give birth, because Irish law allowed the parents to take up residence in the country with their citizen - child thereafter. Now, at least one parent must be legally resident in Ireland for three out of four years before the child's birth for their baby to become a citizen."

The cries of nativist, bigot, racist and "Know - Nothing" from those on the Left, still ring in the ears of GOP/conservative legislators, who tried, in the last Congress, to initiate a constitutional referendum to allow for a similar change to U.S. citizenship law.

Any non EU national in the state without a residency permit will be deemed to be illegal and subject to summary deportation.

Again, that's summary, as in immediate with no appeal, as in here today, gone tomorrow!

Deportees would be liable to the state for the costs of their deportation process. A readily enforceable commitment to keep the peace and obey the law would be required to receive a residency permit.

No free rides in the Celtic Tiger! No catch and release over there!

Tanaiste McDowell has also requested the Attorney General to streamline the judicial review system for asylum seekers who have failed to obtain refugee status. He wants it replaced by a brief procedure, like a habeas corpus hearing before a single member of the judiciary.

Again, here today, gone tomorrow! A quick dispatch!

It has also emerged that McDowell's bill includes provisions for the establishment of detention centers for asylum seekers from countries with a high level of application abuse.

Asylum seekers would be held in the centers until their applications were fully processed. Then they would either be granted asylum or deported. The Tanaiste recently told the Sunday Tribune that "persons unlawfully here will be excluded from all but the most basic of services. I cannot accept that people should profit from illegality . . ."

McDowell also indicated that he is proposing a reform of the Irish naturalization process.

Henceforth, applicants for citizenship would have to demonstrate a minimum knowledge of the Irish state and an ability to speak English. "Granting citizenship to someone who has little or no understanding of the Irish nation or state, and little or no capacity linguistically to participate in the day to day democratic life of the community is questionable", he stated.

Yes, when it comes to securing borders - their own! - there are certainly no flies on those Celtic Tiger boys. Or, if there are, they're certainly not illegal ones!

In addition, the Celtic Tiger is about to institute, or has instituted, measures "to protect its society and economy" by placing restrictions on people from Bulgaria and Romania so as to prevent inundation, following those countries accession to the European Community on Jan 1.

Note: These are people who should have automatic immigration rights to any country of the EU, under the spirit, if not the letter, of the Treaty of Rome. Can you imagine the uproar from the Left, the UN and the ILIR/Dublin axis, if the U.S. Government enacted immigration restrictions against a particular country, or group of countries, say Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia?????

On the subject of amnesty, which the Irish Government so feverishly promotes - exclusively over here of course! - a certain politician believes that such a measure could have a "very negative impact" and that it would attract "large numbers . . . under the misguided expectation that they will be granted residency rights." That wasn't Tom Tancredo or Pete King opining! That was Taoiseach Bertie Ahern expounding on the likelihood of an amnesty for illegals in Ireland - never! - in a recent letter to the Irish Methodist Church, which was obtained by the Irish Times under the Irish Freedom of Information Act.

The Celtic Tiger's Government, through its surrogate ILIR, unabashedly pushes union busting guest worker programs and amnesty in the United States, which would unleash a Tsunami of cheap labor, thus destroying middle class living standards. Meanwhile, according to Steve Malanga, Ireland has reshaped its own immigration policy

"to prevent unskilled workers from flooding its labor markets. So that employers don't import immigrants in occupations where workers are already plentiful, aiming to drive down wages, Ireland won't grant visas in job categories for which the market deems the labor supply adequate. Virtually all the jobs for which the country won't grant visas - from hotel workers, to retail salespeople to clerical staff - are low skilled. Ireland requires that employers try to fill vacancies in those jobs from Ireland itself or with workers from other EU countries."


The consistent, unsubstantiated, insulting refrain we get from the Left, ILIR and the elitist cheap labor advocates is that "Immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do". However, experience has consistently demonstrated that Americans will do any work if you pay them a living wage. In recent weeks, the meat processing industry has had large swathes torn from its predominantly illegal alien work force, as hundreds have been arrested, on identify theft and immigration charges, in federal swoops. However, the industry has not ground to a standstill! Instead, the affected companies have discovered that after ratcheting up remuneration to a living wage level and improving working conditions, they have been inundated with applications from those "lazy" Americans who are quite willing to do the jobs they previously wouldn't do for slave wages. Despite the scare mongering of the elitist doomsayers, with 300 million Americans, there will be no jobs that Americans won't do, if the labor market is allowed to find its own fair and just point of equilibrium, without distorting it by turning on the spigot of cheap labor.

When one juxtaposes McDowell's tough legislation and the other commonsensical protective elements of the Celtic Tiger's immigration policy with Dublin's cynical, dubious, "hypocritical", efforts to emasculate the U.S. immigration system, even the most disinterested Irish American must be appalled at the audacity and brazenness in which the Irish Government has aggressively interjected itself into U.S. domestic affairs. High on Celtic Tiger steroids and intoxicated by the current affluence, the mandarins of Iveagh House certainly have liathroidi galore. As they practice the Machiavellian "black art of diplomacy", just what are those mandarins playing at??? Too clever by half! It is heartening to see that the Celtic Tiger is adamant that it will not make the same mistakes that the United States has made over the past forty years. However, the audacious hypocrisy leaves one breathless!!

In fairness to "Mick the Barrister", he is probably the most pro-American political leader in Ireland, and, most certainly, in the EU. A highly courageous philosophical disposition to hold in today's Europe and, indeed, Celtic Tiger. In a recent speech to the Forum on Europe, McDowell decried "rising anti Americanism in Europe" and emphatically declared that "the Atlantic should not be allowed to become a gulf for peoples to turn their backs on one another". He further elaborated that he is opposed "to those who would aim to make Europe stronger so that it can have louder and more dangerous arguments with America". McDowell outlined his opposition to a federalist Europe stating that it would create a new "imperium" and affirmed that he is "implacably opposed to the conversion of the European Union into a super state in which all member states would be subjugated to a centralized, overly federalist and unaccountable apparatus of power.'' Don't you just love this guy???? Mick, ever consider the "American Friends of Michael McDowell, Inc."???? "Mick the Barrister's" international outlook may jive perfectly with what the future holds. According to authoritative author Mark Steyn, in his book "America Alone", the U.S. National Council on Intelligence predicts that the EU experiment, enveloped, as it is, in an anti Democratic ethos and riddled with inconsistencies, will have imploded by 2020. He and other commentators also opine that by that stage the demographically declining European core will be well on its way to absorption into a growing Islamic caliphate.

On the embarrassing, glaring inconsistencies about which the Tanaiste so rightly feels "hypocritical", perhaps he should take a trot across Stephen's Green to the Celtic Tiger's Foggy Bottom and explain to poor misguided Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern - always the deer in the headlights look! - and the mandarins of Iveagh House, the error of their ways. Irish Americans are not as intellectually challenged as said mandarins obviously think we are! McDowell should also take a measuring tape to get the dimensions of the drapes! Who knows??? A cabinet re-shuffle, or the next election, could mean a pro - American, worldly and amenable Aire de Gnothai Eachtracha. Interested, Mick????? Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs. There's a nice ring to that!

Back on this side of the Atlantic, if the challenge was just to "Legalize the Irish" then an expeditious resolution could be found. However, since 9/11 with the nation at war, the vast majority of the U.S. electorate is intense about having genuine border security, not just as a defense against the radical Islamic threat but also to preserve our culture, to protect the middle class standard of living, and to defend the hard fought gains of the American Labor movement, which are increasingly being eroded. Even congressional immigration hawks, in principle, don't have a problem with the illegal Irish - English speaking, readily assimilable, skilled and educated, completely independent of our over generous welfare system, as they are. Irish immigrants don't undercut the American workforce. They compete with it on a level playing field. Indeed, there is an acknowledgment that existence of an illegal Irish community is a glaring representation of the dysfunctional nature of the admissions policy implemented by the 1965 Kennedy Immigration Act, and of its failure to represent our economic, cultural and security interests. As GOP congressional leader Roy Blunt affirmed: "The Irish are just the kind of immigrants we need." GOP/ conservative legislators and activists indicated in the last Congress that the Irish problem could have been expeditiously resolved - nod, nod, wink, wink, How's Your Uncle??? - far outside the parameters of the infinitely more complex, larger immigration debate. We could learn a lesson from our Australian cousins. The Aussies, of course, having obtained their own special visa package by staying well below the radar screen and well away from the complicated debate.

Instead, because of the aggressive, brazen, partisan, inept, irresponsible, and heavy handed antics of ILIR, a special deal for the Irish is probably off the radar for the foreseeable future, if not forever. The grossly irresponsible actions of ILIR in severely mitigating and distorting the intrinsic advantageous qualifications of the Irish immigrant by aligning the "Legalize the Irish" cause with hysterical, assimilation averse, Stars and Stripes burning, intimidating, marching mobs like ANSWER, La Raza and the Reconquistodor Movement, armed with their anti American agendas, have done untold damage to the cause. It has certainly infuriated many Irish Americans, politicians, pundits and voters.

Of course, the ideological foundation, contextual background and rabid record of its "leadership" suggest that there is every indication that ILIR, as far as said "leadership" is concerned, is merely an ethnic vehicle of the Left and is determinedly pursuing a far broader, extreme left wing, partisan agenda other than simply "Legalizing the Irish". Indeed, it may very well be that the fortunes of the unsuspecting illegal Irish have already become a hostage to that broader objective. The involvement of the Celtic Tiger's Government, a foreign government, in bankrolling ILIRs anti - American, partisan radicalism and its attacks on Irish American GOP/conservative politicians like Pete King, and others like Tom Tancredo, has left Irish Americans aghast . As the man said: "T'is the illegal Irish I feel sorry for!" It is completely understandable that the illegal Irish would grasp at straws. However, the "leadership" of ILIR should have known better, should have been able to read the mood of the nation, should have been able to read the nuances and dynamics of the debate. It has either disastrously failed, or has completely hoodwinked, its purported constituency.

The first obligation of any politician is to get elected. The second obligation is to remain in power. One of the lessons learnt on last Election Day, as the pro amnesty cabal was decidedly chastened, was that with over 70% of the electorate against, there are no votes in pushing amnesty and guest workers programs. The immigration issue is volatile and divisive. With the Democrats fighting to retain their congressional majority of conservative Blue Dogs and trying to capture the White House, and with the GOP attempting to retain the Presidency and regain control of Congress by winning back Caucasian middle class voters, it is likely that politicos of all hews and stripes will run well clear of such an explosive issue. Immigration is probably sidelined for any meaningful consideration until well after the 2008 Presidential Election. Of course, politicians, being politicians, will still mouth the tailor - made soothing platitudes and play to the various ethnic and special interest audiences.

However, with the U.S. Senate's passage last week, by a margin of 94-0, of an amendment to the Minimum Wage Bill, the indications are that the new realpolitik has swiftly dawned on the political class. The amendment, authored by GOP Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, would ban federal contractors from government work for ten years, if it was discovered that they were hiring illegal aliens. In addition, companies seeking, but not already holding, federal contracts would be prohibited from obtaining them for up to seven years, if it was discovered that they had illegal aliens on their books. Before the successful passage of his amendment, Sessions told the Senate, " the statistics are quite clear . . . large flows of illegal workers . . . pull down the wages of American citizens who go to work in those similar jobs . . . Illegal workers . . . accept wages less than the average worker would accept. "

With the presence of Dublin's immigration hawk, Michael McDowell, "Ireland's Tom Tancredo", one anticipated that in the spirit of ideological consistency the humble abode of Tim O'Connor would have been besieged by thousands of protesting ILIR apparatchiks , showing solidarity with the oppressed and down trodden illegal immigrants of the Celtic Tiger. However, not a single protest pickets in sight. Instead "La crème de la crème" of the organization, was upstairs, busy supping and hob nobbing with the man himself. To paraphrase a famous, fictitious figure from Denmark: "Oh hypocrisy, thy name is ILIR!"

Politics aside, it was a good night, as these bashes generally are. There was the enjoyable banter, the verbal sparring and jousting, and the extraction of the proverbial substance that occurs at such affairs. There was, of course, the hospitality of Tim O'Connor and the consulate staff. As Tim says, he welcomes a "broad church", which no doubt might explain to the gentle reader how your humble scribe happened to gain admission. Contrary to the stuffed - shirt, aloof, authoritarian image of Tanaiste McDowell that is cultivated in the Celtic Tiger's media, it was a pleasure to find an affable, jocular and refreshingly honest political character who showed himself quite at ease in the company of Irish Americans. Although, we could quibble with some of the minutiae on his broader agenda, from over here it seems that "Mick the Barrister" is one of the few over there that knows what he is doing.



Patrick Hurley is president of the Regular Republican Club, 30th AD, Inc., in Woodside, Queens, New York City. He is a member of the Queens County Executive of the Republican Party. Hurley is a past GOP/Conservative candidate for the NYC Council in the 26th CD. Active in Irish American affairs, he is the immediate past president of the County Cork Association of New York, one of the largest Irish American organizations in the Tri State area. In 1987, Hurley was a co - founder of the Irish Immigration Reform Movement, a grassroots lobbying organization that went onto secure thousands of Green Cards for the then burgeoning illegal Irish community.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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24 April 2007

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