Press Centre

Ireland’s Undocumented Migrants Pen Letter of Support to All Undocumented in the US: 16.03.17

As the Taoiseach prepares to meet President Trump, undocumented migrants in Ireland have penned a letter of support to all undocumented people in the US.

***Full text of letter below in English and Spanish

Written by undocumented migrants from the Justice for the Undocumented (JFU) campaign, the letter states, “We know your struggle. We feel your pain. We understand only too well the fear you live with…The lives you live in America, we live in Ireland.”

Rebecca, a founding member of the JFU campaign and an undocumented migrant from South Asia, stated “I have lived and worked in Ireland for 15 years now. I have Irish grandchildren. Ireland is my home. I know exactly how the undocumented in America feel: missing funerals and celebrations, afraid that one day you will have to leave forever…it is not easy. We wanted to send them our support, especially now their President speaks with such anger and hatred.”

The campaign is supported by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI).

MRCI spokesperson Helen Lowry said, “Irish politicians have a long history of empathy and support for the Irish undocumented in the US, but few have paid the same attention to the thousands of undocumented people in the exact same situation in Ireland.”

Ms Lowry continued, “The St Patrick’s Day Festival could not go ahead without the work of undocumented people in restaurants and hotels up and down the country. Their work is vital, their lives are here. Both Ireland and the US need to recognise reality and allow undocumented people to sort out their immigration status.”

“The issue is now urgent as not only have many people lived undocumented in Ireland for well over 10 years, but we have a generation of undocumented teenagers and young adults for whom Ireland is the only home they’ve ever known. We’re calling for a sensible regularisation scheme to be introduced in Ireland. Action for the undocumented here would speak louder than a bowl of shamrock in Washington.”

FULL TEXT OF LETTER (in English and Spanish)

To you, the undocumented people of the United States,

We know your struggle. We feel your pain. We understand only too well the fear you live with.

Being undocumented – staying undocumented – is not an easy life to live. Missing celebrations, missing funerals, missing your family every single moment of every day. Living in constant fear of deportation, of that knock on the door, that inspector on the bus as you go to work. Putting up with abuse at work because you can’t complain.

We know why you do it. The lives you live in America, we live in Ireland.

We know the journey of hope all migrants go on, uprooting yourself, stepping into the unknown, working for a better future for you and your family. We know the sacrifices you have made and continue to make. We know the dark moments of doubt and the burden of this decision. And we know that things were already difficult and now you have a president who thrives on fear and hate, who refuses to listen to reason, who doesn’t respect the contributions you have made to communities and society and the economy.

We want to say you are not alone in this time of trouble. Many are there with you and we are standing with you here tonight and every night. We care about you and your lives and your safety. We are right behind you. We have your backs.

We will not give up our shared struggle. We will keep fighting until undocumented people have a pathway to papers. We will remind our political leaders that we are still here. But right now, we extend a hand of friendship and a shoulder of strength to you – our fellow people, undocumented and documented, in the Irish community and in all communities in the USA this St. Patrick’s Day.

Stay strong. Keep hope alive. Don’t give up.

Beir bua agus beannacht (may victory and blessings be with you)

Undocumented migrants from the Justice for the Undocumented campaign


A todos ustedes, las personas indocumentadas de los Estados Unidos. Queremos decirles que,

Conocemos su lucha. Compartimos su sufrimiento. Entendemos perfectamente el constante miedo en el que viven.

Ser un indocumentado – vivir como indocumentado, es una tarea tan complicada como penosa, uno no puede estar presente en celebraciones ni funerales, se extraña a la familia en cada momento de cada día. Se vive con un constante temor a ser deportado, a esa llamada a la puerta, al inspector en el autobús mientras vas al trabajo. Se tolera el abuso en el trabajo pues simplemente no podemos quejarnos.

Entendemos bien por qué lo hacen, la vida que ustedes llevan en los USA la llevamos nosotros en Irlanda.

Comprendemos el sendero de esperanza por el cual atraviesan todos los inmigrantes, abandonándolo todo para adentrarse en un mundo desconocido, luchando por un futuro mejor para uno y aún más importante, para la familia. Conocemos los sacrificios que han hecho y continúan haciendo. Conocemos los oscuros momentos de duda y el agobio de esta decisión.

Y sabemos bien, que las cosas eran ya en si difíciles y ahora tienen un presidente quien se nutre del miedo y odio, quien reúsa escuchar la voz de la razón, el cual no respeta la enorme contribución que ustedes han aportado a sus comunidades, a la sociedad y a la economía.

Queremos decirle que no están solos en estos tiempos de angustia, que alli hay muchos en la misma situación, y que nosotros nos solidarizamos con ustedes aquí, esta misma noche y cada día. Nos preocupamos por ustedes, por sus vidas y seguridad, estamos aqui respaldándoles.

Nosotros jamás nos rendiremos en esta nuestra lucha compartida. Seguiremos pelando hasta que cada persona indocumentada tenga derecho a sus papeles. Vamos a recordarles a nuestros líderes políticos que aún estamos aquí.

Ahora mismo, queremos extenderles nuestras manos como símbolo de amistad y nuestros hombros como apoyo, a todos ustedes nuestros compañeros “documentados e indocumentados” de la comunidad Irlandesa y todas las otras comunidades de los USA en este día de San Patricio.

Manténganse firmes. Conserven la esperanza. No secrindan jamás.

Beir bua agus beannacht (deseándoles victoria y bendiciones),

Inmigrantes indocumentados en Irlanda.

ENDS

CONTACT

Aoife Murphy 01 5241454

 

NOTES

The letter will be read aloud at the Irish Stand event in New York on St. Patrick’s Day (Friday 17th) and at a candlelit rally on Dame Street in Dublin at 6.30pm on Thursday 16th March.

Justice for the Undocumented is a campaign made up of 1,400 undocumented migrants in Ireland and supported by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. There are thousands of undocumented people in Ireland, the vast majority in the exact same situation as those in the United States – like the Irish undocumented in the US, most held valid immigration documents at one stage but have no way to regularise their status regardless of years spent working here, taxes and economic contributions paid, and bonds with local communities, schools, businesses and sports teams.