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October 26, 2004

News 10/26/04 - Ltr Re: House Bill 10

Joint Letter From Irish American Groups Re: House Bill HR 10

October 26, 2004

Representative Peter Hoekstra
2234 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Senator Susan Collins
172 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

RE: House Bill HR 10

Dear Representative Hoekstra and Senator Collins,

The Irish American community is extremely concerned about the
extraneous provisions in House Bill HR 10 that go beyond the 9-11
Commission's recommendations. We write to express our strong
opposition to these controversial provisions, which directly
threaten the Irish in America.

Under HR 10, Irish immigrants in the US (including permanent
residents) would be deportable for pure speech—for saying anything
the government says endorses terrorist activity or endorses support
for a terrorist organization, and for mere membership. Thus, an
Irish permanent resident that defends the right of the Irish
Republican Army to use weapons, even against military targets only,
would be deportable. This bill sets up a dangerous standard of
guilt by association, rendering people deportable for wholly lawful
and peaceful activity if it supports any group that has engaged in
the use of weapons, or has threatened to use weapons.

Furthermore, HR 10 contains court stripping provisions that make it
much more difficult for Irish deportees to get stays and appeals.
It expands "expedited removal" to allow for deportation without a
hearing, and without judicial review, of any non-citizen anywhere
in the U.S. that an immigration officer says was not lawfully
admitted and has been physically present less than 5 years.

This bill is a threat to our democracy. For centuries Irish
immigrants have come over to the US, either fleeing persecution or
looking for new opportunity. Tens of millions of Irish immigrants
helped build this country, voiced their political opinions, and
contributed to our democracy. We must not pass any legislation
infringing on their ability to continue their contribution.

Anti-immigrant provisions and expansions of the Patriot Act were
not recommended by the 9-11 Commission and have no place in this
bill. We join with the 9-11 Commission, and the many 9-11 families
in asking you to remove these extraneous provisions and pass a bi-
partisan bill that follows the actual recommendations of the 9-11

Yours Sincerely,

Judge Andrew Somers (ret.)
National President
Irish American Unity Conference

Deanna Turner
National Coordinator
Irish Deportees of America Committee

Paul Doris
National Chair
Irish Northern Aid

Fr. Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus

Ned McGinley
National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians

Edmund Lynch
National Coordinator
Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland

Jerome Edward Boyle, Esq.
Attorney at Law

Nadya Connolly Williams
Global Exchange Study Tour Coordinator for
The north of Ireland

CC: Conference Committee Members

Responses to this joint letter may be mailed to:

Irish American Unity Conference
National Office
611 Pennsylvania Ave, SE # 4150
Washington, D.C. 20003
Telephone: 1-800-947-4282
Fax: 248-671-0429

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