Undocumented Irish watching with trepidation following Trump’s Executive Order

Press Release 30th January, 2017

On Friday January, 27th 2017 President Trump signed an Executive Order that halted refugee resettlement from seven muslim-majority countries for 90 days. The executive order also included legal permanent residents and dual citizens holding a passport from any of the seven countries listed.

The result was confusion and fear among immigrant and refugee communities across the United States and at its major airports. “Yesterday I stood as Senator for the global Irish in solidarity with immigrant and refugee community groups at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport”, said Senator Lawless. Over 5,000 people turned out in an impromptu show of force and defiance to denounce president Trump’s Executive Orders. They were joined by similar protests in New York, Boston, Denver and 33 other airports across the United States.

“America is a nation of laws but it is also a nation of values. It has always been outward-looking and welcoming to immigrants of all faiths and lands,” “These Executive Orders do not reflect the spirit of the American people or the country’s leadership role in the world,” Senator Lawless expressed.

Senator Lawless has called on the Trump Administration to rescind this Executive Order and follow the words of Pope Francis who admonishes us to welcome the stranger and those fleeing suffering or persecution.

Yesterday I joined a young man from the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society in Chicago who’s parents are both green card holders from Iraq, where they had spent 10 years working for American NGOs helping to rebuild a ravaged country. Othman Al Ani’s mother travelled to Egypt recently to visit a son she had not seen for 8 years but as of yesterday she remained trapped in Egypt unable to return home as a result of this ban.

“In this climate the 50,000 Irish undocumented in the United States are watching closely with fear and trepidation for their future. I stand ready to work with the Irish government to represent the interests of our most vulnerable citizens living abroad and I will encourage the Taoiseach to continue to raise this issue at the highest levels of the US government” Senator Lawless confirmed.