Thursday, May 01, 2008


The most troublesome aspect of Bertie Ahern's speech to Congress yesterday was this --

So we are profoundly aware of those challenges as we ask you to consider the case of our undocumented Irish immigrant community in the United States today. We hope you will be able to find a solution to their plight that would enable them to regularise their status and open to them a path to permanent residency.

i.e. special pleading for illegal Irish immigrants, right before he went on to quote the famous words from the Statue of Liberty, words which offer the ideal of a welcome to everyone. The real courage would have been to make a parallel with the modern day equivalent of the poor but striving Irish masses arriving at Ellis Island -- the millions of Mexican immigrants who would hope to be part of a general immigration reform next year. Hiving off the relatively small Irish group into a special deal would remove a politically influential group from the broader cause.

White House photo by Chris Greenberg

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