Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005
January 26- February 1, 2005
San Francisco labor group vote to support McAllisters
IN A UNANIMOUS VOTE that brought members of the crowded hall to their feet,
the San Francisco Labor Council passed a resolution supporting the granting
of asylum to Malachy Mc Allister and his family.
The resolution, which was passed at the Labor Council¹s monthly meeting in
December, calls on the Bush administration to grant asylum to Malachy Mc
Allister and his family. The Mc Allister family fled Northern Ireland after
an unsuccessful assassination attempt by a loyalist death squad.
As the case for their deportation wound through the Immigration Courts, one
decision would have granted asylum to the family while deporting Mr. Mc
Allister, and in a perverse reversal of that decision, would have deported
the family while allowing Mr. Mc Allister to pursue his request for asylum.
Although Mr. Mc Allister was granted bail by the immigration court, the
family home was invaded by the Department of Homeland Security, in November,
In July 2003 a similar resolution was adopted by the San Francisco Labor
Council, supporting Ciarán Ferry. Ciarán a former Irish political prisoner,
who spent seven and a half years in Long Kesh prison before being released
under the terms of the Good Friday Peace Agreement. Following his release,
Ciarán came to the United States in 2000 with his American citizen wife
after his life was threatened by loyalist paramilitaries. Ferry was in what
is known as a ³period of lawful presence authorized by the Attorney
General,² when he was arrested in Denver in January 2003. However, unlike
every other alien in similar circumstances, Ferry was denied a lawful
hearing on his ³green card² application, ordered deported and incarcerated
without bond. Mr. Ferry had been in a Denver jail for over 700 days. Ciaran
Ferry was deported before Christmas on December 23.
Jerry Path, the delegate from the Sign and Display Union Local 510,
introduced the McAllister Family Resolution to the San Francisco Labor
Council, and was followed by John Fogarty of the Irish American Unity
Conference whose brief words brought home to the Labor Council members that
we all must be ever aware that the rights given to us all, by the United
States Constitution are slowly being eroded away.
(The writer is vice president of the San Francisco Chapter of the Irish
American Unity Conference)