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    Crosscare Migrant Project, CIIC publish J-1 information leaflet

    Thursday, June 25th, 2009

    The Crosscare Migrant Project (formerly Emigrant Advice) has published its information leaflet for students going to the US on a J-1 visa this summer, while the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centres has produced its predeparture leaflet containing information on social security numbers, accommodation, jobs and safe travelling.

    The CMP leaflet warns students that this year, the US Department of State has warned that this summer’s job market will be weak, so preparation is more important than ever.

    See the leaflets:

    ILIR renews campaign as Obama gives mixed signals on reform

    Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

    The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform has resumed its campaign on behalf of the undocumented in the United States with a meeting outside Boston this week. More than 350 attended the meeting, which was held in the Irish Cultural Center in Canton.

    ILIR President Ciaran Staunton said, “ILIR wants to make sure that this is the last generation of Irish in America that has to listen to a family member’s funeral on the telephone. It is our goal that this is the last generation of Irish to be undocumented in America.”

    Former Congressman Bruce Morrison spoke about the proposal to create a visa similar to the E-3 that was established in a deal between Australia and the US last year. Even if such a deal could be passed for Ireland, however, this visa would probably not assist the undocumented already living in the US.

    The Obama administration has given mixed signals on immigration reform in recent weeks. In March, President Obama told the Hispanic Immigration Caucus that he remained committed to comprehensive immigation reform; Obama had made a campaign pledge to address the issue in his first year in office. He said in March that he would initiate the process with a White House meeting this spring. However, Vice President Biden told a gathering of Central American leaders this month that the economy was an obstacle to immigration reform.

    “It’s difficult to tell a constituency while unemployment is rising, they’re losing their jobs and their homes, that what we should do is, in fact, legalize (illegal immigrants) and stop all deportation.”

    Related web pages:

    ILIR to hold series of meetings

    Monday, March 30th, 2009

    The New York-based Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will be holding a series of meetings after a period of reorganisation. They report they will hold the first meeting in Boston at the Irish Cultural Centre in Boston on April 6 at 7:30 pm. Speakers will include Bruce Morison, ILIR chair Bart Murphy, vice-chair Ciaran Staunton and Executive Director Kelly Fincham.

    Bart Murphy, a San Francisco-based immigration advocate, recently took over the position of chair from Irish Voice publisher Niall O’Dowd.

    For more information, visit the ILIR blog.

    Working Abroad Expo: Dublin, 21-22 March; Cork, 26-27 March

    Friday, March 20th, 2009

    An event aimed at those considering relocating to work abroad in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and the UK will be held on 21-22 March in the RDS in Dublin and 26-27 March in the Silver Springs Moran Hotel.

    Organisers say the Working Abroad Expo will include immigration officials from Australia, New Zealand and Canada giving visa advice, relocation services, employers and recruitment consultants, and financial advisers. Information on volunteering abroad will also be available.

    For more information, see the Working Abroad Expo website.

    Related article: Destination anywhere

    Australia cuts visas for builders and manufacturing

    Friday, March 20th, 2009

    is reacting to the global downturn by cutting its intake of migrants for the first time in ten years. The government said this week that it would reduce the number of work permits by about 14%, or  18,500.

    The government is removing bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians from the critical shortage list. Hairdressers and cooks had already been removed.  Health occupations, engineering and information technology remain on the list.

    The visa cuts will affect would-be Irish emigrants. Media reports in recent weeks have detailed problems affective Irish job-seekers in Australia.

    Australia’s unemployment rate is currently 5.2%, up from 4.8% last month.

    Related websites:

    Senate Majority leader optimistic on immigration reform prospects

    Friday, November 28th, 2008

    There has been much speculation on whether and how quickly comprehensive immigration reform might be tackled in the US. There has been widespread hope that there might be another effort at immigration reform, which would presumably benefit the estimated 50,000 Irish among the US’s 12 million undocumented, soon into Barack Obama’s new term.

    An interview with Harry Reid earlier this month, by Deborah Barfield Berry of the Gannett News Service, indicates that President-elect Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, who spearheaded prior efforts at bipartisan immigration reform, have been in discussion on the issue of immigration reform. Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader, and the interview from which this is excerpted focused on priorities for next year.

    Q: With more Democrats in the Senate and the House and a Democrat in the White House, how do you see congressional efforts playing out on such issues as health care and immigration?

    On immigration, there’s been an agreement between (President-elect Barack) Obama and (Arizona Republican Sen. John) McCain to move forward on that. … We’ll do that. We have to get this economy stuff figured out first, so I think we’ll have a shot at doing something on health care in the next Congress for sure.

    Q: Will there be as much of a fight on immigration as last time?

    A: We’ve got McCain and we’ve got a few others. I don’t expect much of a fight at all. Now health care is going to be difficult. That’s a very complicated issue. We debated at great length immigration. People understand the issues very well. We have not debated health care, so that’s going to take a lot more time to do.

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