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    Let diaspora return, says Irish-America

    By Noreen Bowden | May 9, 2008

    Two pleas from Irish America calling for changes to make it easier for the diaspora to come to Ireland were published in the last week.

    In the first, Rose Foley of Boston writes in the Irish Times that she has sought for the last eleven years to find a way to work in Ireland – but her status as a fourth-generation Irish-American prevents her from doing so.  She is one generation removed from eligibility for citizenship, so her only option would be to get sponsorship through employment – but she has found that she cannot find work without a visa and cannot get a visa without a job. And since any employer would have to prove that no one in the EU could do the job before she could be hired, this avenue is not likely to lead to success.

    Invoking David McWilliams’ recent call for Ireland to welcome back its diaspora for the sake of its economic growth, and in recognition of their “deep, vested interest in our culture”, she says, “The time has come to welcome us back.”

    The second request to open the doors to the diaspora appeared in a letter to the editor from an Irish emigrant living in Philadelphia.  Cian de Buitleir has an Irish-American partner who is not eligible for citizenship, and notes that he has met many Irish-Americans who have strong interest in Irish culture, history and the language.  He says, “India offers its diaspora recognition, residency and work permits through the ‘Person of Indian Origin’ (PIO) card,” and suggests that Ireland would benefit both economically and culturally by giving the diaspora a route to move to Ireland.

    The next time that you hear a call for legalising the Irish in America or for a united Ireland, maybe you should reflect on whether we should first undo the hypocrisy of Irish immigration law and simply reunite the Irish, because charity begins at home.

    These people will fortify the Irish economy.

    These are no longer the ‘poor huddled masses’, these are the people who built nations.

    Now is the time to take a leap of faith and offer tangible immigration benefits through ‘affirmative action’ to the Irish diaspora.

    The letter has prompted dozens of comments on the Irish Independent website.

    See the two articles:

    Topics: Latest News, return migration, US | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Let diaspora return, says Irish-America”

    1. Enhance citizenship opportunities, says diaspora group | - about Irish emigration and the diaspora Says:
      July 21st, 2009 at 6:28 pm

      […] From archives: Let diaspora return, says Irish America […]