AOH National Immigration Chairman
IMPORTANT: PLEASE HAVE COUNTY AND DIVISION PRESIDENTS DISTRIBUTE ASAP
Brother & Sister Hibernians and All Friends of the Irish Peace Process and Unity,
Malachy McAllister, a Brother from New Jersey Mercer County AOH Division 1, having fled his birthplace with his young family, based on proven death threats from Loyalist Death Squads, now faces imminent deportation on April 25, as we remember the 100th Anniversary of Ireland’s Republic.
Malachy McAllister, here for the past 19 years, is raising his young family, is a productive businessman and employer and is acknowledged by many as a key promoter of the Irish Peace Process.
1) PLEASE call your member of the House of Representatives TODAY.
The number for the House Congressional Switchboard is (202) 225-3121.
2) Give your zip code when requested and ask to speak to your Congressman’s Office.
3) When directed to that Office, ask to speak to the Legislation Officer or Immigration Liaison your Representative.
4) If they aren’t available, ask to leave a message stating: “I would like to hear from the Congressman, the Chief of Staff or the Representative’s Immigration person as soon as possible. Ask then for an email address in order to forward Congressman Crowley’s letter.
5) If they are available, tell them that (a) You support Congressman Joe Crowley’s request that ICE exercise its discretion (as it has done previously) by taking quick action to suspend the deportation order against Mr. McAllister as he is no threat to this country. (b) Ask your Congressman to contact Congressman Crowley and sign onto this letter!”
6) If your Representative indicates to you their support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, THANK
THEM! If your Representative indicates opposition, ask them to reconsider that position and thank them for their time.
7) Please call or email me immediately after you have made contact, so that we may follow up on your efforts
Brothers, this issue is now crucial and requires immediate action on the part of every Hibernian.
I will be happy to provide you with any supporting information that you require.
Thanks in advance for all your efforts and yours In Our Motto,
Dan Dennehy, Immigration Chair
Letter From Congressman Joe Crowley and Concerned members of Congress.
The Honorable Jeh Johnson
Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Secretary Johnson and Director Saldaña,
We respectfully urge you to continue to grant deferred action to Mr. Malachy McAllister, who fled with his young family from Belfast in 1988 following a sustained gun attack on his home by Loyalist paramilitaries.
Despite intensive efforts by the United States government over the past two decades to support peace in Northern Ireland, Mr. McAllister has been caught in a limbo that appears at a minimum to be inconsistent with the spirit of change and compromise that has animated U.S. foreign policy towards the region.
We understand his application for political asylum and other efforts to adjust his immigration status have been denied as a result of events that transpired over 30 years ago, and long before the United States brokered efforts to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland. As a result, the fate of Mr. McAllister now rests in your hands at the Department of Homeland Security.
For the past 20 years, Mr. McAllister has lived in the Tri-State New York/New Jersey area, contributing to American society and raising his family in safety and security. We urge you to consider fully his current contributions and weigh them against the circumstances surrounding his previous convictions, which we believe provider a greater context that is critical to developing an understanding of Mr. McAllister’s background.
Growing up as a young man in a heavily militarized conflict zone in Northern Ireland, Mr. McAllister joined an attack on a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and played a role in planning another attack, which did not transpire. As all observers of the conflict and the emergent peace process in Northern Ireland are aware, the RUC was widely viewed as a notoriously sectarian organization implicated in numerous brutalities directed largely at members of the Catholic population. The force was also suspected by many human rights organizations of collusion with Loyalist terror groups to target and assassinate human rights activists and those who supported a united Ireland.
The reputation and history of the RUC presented such a major impediment to progress that reform of that organization and the greater security services in Northern Ireland was one of the central features of the much-lauded Good Friday Agreement, brokered by Senator George Mitchell and supported by numerous Secretaries of State and United States Presidents. In fact, the problems of the RUC were so severe that the RUC was essentially disbanded in 2001 and reformed as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (“PSNI”) in efforts to recast policing services which would be acceptable to all the people of Northern Ireland.
Notwithstanding the well-documented and widely acknowledged brutalities and miscarriages of justice carried out by the RUC, Mr. McAllister has time and again expressed his regret and remorse for those actions taken over thirty years ago, which have led to his current predicament. He had been arrested and tried for his offenses, and served four years in prison for his actions. Mr. McAllister has been honest and forthright about his past, and it is undeniable that tens of thousands of similar every day, decent people were caught up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland in a situation that came to resemble a war zone.
Upon his release from prison, having served his debt to society, Mr. McAllister sought to put his past behind him and focus on raising his young family. However, his home was attacked by the Red Hand Commandos, a pro-British group, which fired 26 shots into his house while his mother-in-law and children were at home. This attack compelled him to flee his homeland, first to Canada, and then to the United States, where he applied for political asylum in 1999.
Following a hearing, Mr. McAllister’s application for asylum was denied in October 2000 as a result of his previous conviction.
However, Immigration Judge Dogin later granted asylum to his wife and children, finding the attack on Mr. McAllister’s home by Loyalist paramilitaries to be “[t]he most striking and blatant act of persecution, and the one that undoubtedly stands on its own as evidence of past persecution.” The Immigration Court found that “[i]t is clear that the McAllister home was deliberately targeted” and that the RUC (police service) had “stated that it suspected that a Loyalist paramilitary group called ‘The Red Hand Commandos’ had carried out the attack.”
Mr. McAllister presents no threat to the safety and security of the United States, or to any other country, and his offenses are historical, committed over 30 years ago in the course of a now much-resolved centuries old political conflict. He clearly meets the Department’s guidelines for prosecutorial discretion on a number of different grounds, not least because he has resided here for decades and has a very young U.S. citizen child and family who depend on him, and which will suffer significant adverse consequences of his removal.
Mr. McAllister is a responsible and well-known member of the Irish-American community, having hosted Senator George Mitchell as then-President of the United Irish Counties Association of New York, and having served in the prestigious position of aide to New York Police Chief Ray Kelly who was the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal. Mr. McAllister has operated a longstanding construction business and has recently opened a restaurant in New York City, with both businesses employing Americans.
We believe that the above provides sufficient reason alone to grant Mr. McAllister deferred action. But in addition, critical new information about the depth of his personal danger came to light in late 2012 through an official U.K. government-backed inquiry into collusion between state security services and loyalist paramilitaries during the Troubles.
In late 2012, with the support of United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, Sir Desmond De Silva was commissioned to draft a report into collusion by official, government security services into the murder of Patrick Finucane – one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent human rights attorneys. Consistent with Mr. McAllister’s claims during his asylum application, the De Silva Report publicly acknowledged that the U.K. (government) security forces had provided leaks of information to loyalist paramilitary groups – the same groups that were carrying out attacks on Catholic or nationalist civilians.
More importantly, the De Silva report makes explicit reference to an incident that, from its details, clearly describes the attempted assassination of Mr. Malachy McAllister. The report indicates that the state security services were aware of the planned assassination attempt, but had failed to warn Mr. McAllister or his family of the threat to their lives.
“On 21 September 1988 Nelson reported that L/24 had shown him a number of photographs of PIRA members, including T/12. Nelson noted that the photographs had come from his intelligence dump. A MISR was raised on 13 September which included Nelson’s comment that an attempt on T/12 would probably be made the following Monday, but I have been unable to find evidence that T/12 was warned of a threat to his life. On 2 October 1988 three loyalist gunmen smashed through the window of T/12’s home and fired into the living room. T/12 was abroad on holiday at the time.”
The report went on to condemn the general conditions at the time with respect to how British security services provided information on nationalists, as well as “a willful and abject failure by successive Governments to provide the clear policy and legal framework necessary for agent-handling operations to take place effectively and within the law.”
In short, Malachy McAllister had been targeted, and his children were almost assassinated, by a loyalist paramilitary group in an operation that was known in advance by the British security services, in an environment found by Sir Desmond de Silva to be not just accidental, but purposeful, failure to act legally. Indeed, the PSNI is currently pursuing leads into the gun attack, which has been reopened as an active investigation.
We believe it would be grossly unfair and contrary to the spirit of the U.S.-sponsored peace process to return Mr. McAllister to a place he fled because the lives of his children had been put in jeopardy. Even if a judge claims his convictions must render him permanently ineligible for asylum or adjustment of status, Mr. McAllister’s circumstances highlight the type of situation that the authority of prosecutorial discretion is designed to address.
Furthermore, the Good Friday Agreement much later led to the release from prison in Northern Ireland of thousands of combatants and moved past a narrative where every combatant was simply designated to be a “terrorist,” allowing former prisoners to pursue political efforts and to even take up high political office in Northern Ireland. Indeed, the Department regularly authorizes waivers of inadmissibility for such individuals to permit them to enter the U.S. as non-immigrants.
Along with the people of the region, the United States deserves every ounce of credit it has received for its role in bringing an end to the Troubles – one of the world’s longest running conflicts – including its role in ushering in the reform of the RUC. Consecutive Department of State and White House administrations, as well as many Members of Congress, have worked long and hard to untangle and address these issues.
We believe that guidelines established by this Administration with respect to prosecutorial discretion in immigration removal proceedings can readily support these efforts, which would continue to defuse decades-old tensions that have been addressed successfully in the past by engaging all parties to the conflict.
We strongly and respectfully urge you to take into account the history of Northern Ireland and United States efforts in the peace process as you consider this decision. We believe that Malachy McAllister meets numerous criteria for prosecutorial discretion, and in light of these facts and the complex history of the conflict, we urge you to halt deportation proceedings and continue to grant deferred action to Mr. McAllister.
Member of Congress
Peter T. King
Member of Congress
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress
CC: John Kerry, Secretary of State
Talking Points for Malachy McAllister Case
- Imminent deportation – Order issued on 3/25/2016 to report for deportation on
4/25/2016, so urgent action is required
- Has been granted Deferred Action Status by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) since 2006, indicating that there are no national security or public safety
concerns that would warrant Mr. McAllister’s deportation and that DHS has found
compelling factors in his case for exercising its discretion to allow him to remain in
the United States.
- Case history:
- Wife and three children granted asylum by Immigration Judge Henry Dogin in
2000 based on severe persecution suffered in Northern Ireland, including an
attack on the family home in Belfast in which Loyalist gunmen fired 26 shots into
the house while the McAllister children were inside. Mr. McAllister was denied
asylum due to conviction in Northern Ireland in 1983 for participating in armed
resistance to British rule. His participation was in the context of the severe
persecution he suffered at the hands of the British military and the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC), the militarized police force of Northern Ireland, and of a
political struggle against British rule in Ireland.
- Mr. McAllister appealed his denial to the Board of Immigration Appeals,
which upheld the decision in 2003.
- The case was appealed to the Third Circuit, which upheld the denial of asylum
- An Adjustment of Status application has been filed for Mr. McAllister based
on an approved I-130 petition for immigrant status on behalf of Mr. McAllister
filed by his U.S. citizen son, Gary McAllister. In order for this application to be
considered, DHS must join a motion requesting the Board of Immigration Appeals
to reopen the removal proceedings and remand the case to the Immigration Judge
for consideration of the Adjustment of Status.
- Substantial new evidence has come to light since the Third Circuit decision,
confirming British government involvement in the attack on Mr. McAllister’s home.
The DaSilva report on the investigation into the murder of lawyer Pat Finucane,
issued in 2012, contains evidence on a number of other individuals who were targeted
by loyalists in collusion with government forces, including Mr. McAllister (identified
as “T/12” in the report).
- Investigations in Northern Ireland into the attack on the McAllister house are
ongoing. Mr. McAllister was just informed that his case is the subject of a active
criminal investigation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). He also has a
pending complaint before the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU, formerly the
Historical Enquires Team). These investigations could create a dangerous situation for
Mr. McAllister if he was returned to Northern Ireland, and the continual reminders of
the attack would create added psychological trauma.
- Since the Third Circuit decision, Congress has passed legislation, the Consolidated
Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2008, allowing for a waiver of the “terrorist activity”
grounds of inadmissibility that render Mr. McAllister removable from the United
States. Under the law, the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), with which Mr.
McAllister was involved, is not considered a “terrorist” group. It is notable that the
group that targeted him, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), is on the State
Department’s Terrorist Watch List (a Tier II group under the CAA), indicating that
they are still considered a danger.
- Third Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump-Barry, in a concurring opinion,
expressed regret that the law did not provide them with an avenue for Mr.
McAllister to remain in the United States. This discretionary waiver could provide
such an avenue for relief. At the very least, it expresses a policy change
recognizing that the “terrorism” exclusion laws should not be absolute.
- There are numerous positive factors that weigh in favor of allowing Mr. McAllister to
remain in the United States. Essentially, he is a model resident of this country:
- Mr. McAllister has a four-year-old U.S. citizen son, as well as a 39 years old
U.S. citizen son, and 5 U.S. citizen. grandchildren.
- He has not been arrested or convicted of any crime since arriving in the U.S.,
and his conviction in Northern Ireland was over 30 years ago.
- He owns two businesses and employs at least 14 U.S. workers.
- He has numerous community ties and strong support from Irish American