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  • Archive for May, 2007

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    Migrant priests to be honoured in Rome

    Thursday, May 31st, 2007

    The Irish community in Rome will be celebrating the lives of two priests, one an Irish native who worked in Rome and the other who came from Holland but worked in Dublin.

    The Basilica of San Clemente will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the excavations undertaken by Dominican priest Joseph Mullooly. Fr Mullooly was born in Longford in 1812 and in 1840 left for Italy, where he entered the Dominican Order. He became superior of San Clemente in 1850 and remained there for the rest of his life. (more…)

    Convicted fraudster scams Irish undocumented

    Thursday, May 31st, 2007

    There has been substantial media coverage of the case of Ralph Cucciniello, who scammed millions of dollars from 200 undocumented immigrants. Mr Cucciniello posed as a lawyer working with Yale Immigration Law Clinic, and promised undocumented Irish immigrants that he would get them papers in return for a $5,000 fee.

    But Cucciniello was not a lawyer, and the Yale Immigration Law Clinic was a fictitious entity. The 545-year-old was a volunteer research assistant at the university, who had several prior fraud convictions. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1996 but never served the time because he was placed in the federal witness protection program. He has other fraud convictions dating back three decades.

    Many of his estimated 200 victims are reportedly afraid to come forward. His crimes were uncovered after one of them contacted Olwyn Triggs, an Irish private investigator who works in New York. Ms Triggs contacted police officials, who filed charges on May 2. Ms Triggs has been trying to convince victims to speak with the police, but many fear deportation.

    The story was broken by the Irish Voice in New York but achieved international prominence when it was reported in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune this week. RTÉ interviewed Irish Voice publisher Niall O’Dowd on the issue today.

    Essays on emigrant writer welcomed

    Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

    Fiction by emigrant writer Colm McCann will be the subject of a collection of essays, according to the Irish Times. The Dublin-born, New York-based writer, born in 1965, has won awards for his fiction, which has been translated into 26 languages.  The Irish Times notes his role as part of “an interesting generation of the Irish diaspora in the US – an aspect of his writing career that would be worth exploring critically”.

    Submissions of up to 7,500 words are welcome by June 30, 2008.  Contact Dr Eóin Flannery ( or Dr Susan Cahill ( or sent to Dr Eóin Flannery, English Section, Department of Languages and Cultural Studies, College of Humanities, University of Limerick

    US immigration service publishes new fees

    Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

    The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has confirmed that immigrants will pay an average of 66% more for green cards, citizenship and other services. The price rises were finalised yesterday, following a period of public discussion.

    To become a citizen, an individual will have to pay a fee of $595, up from $330; plus, the applicant will need to pay $80 for electronic fingerprints, up from $70. To apply for legal permanent residency, the cost is increasing from $325 to $1,010.

    The agency says the increases are need to improve services and hire additional workers. “This agency is fee-based; 99% of our budget comes from user fees. We need to be the agency people expect us to be. We need to undertake reforms… The only way to get from here to there is to have the financial resources to do that,” said CIS Director Emilio Gonzalez yesterday.

    Immigration advocates have criticised the move, saying the new fees will be a major obstacle for immigrants. The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centres in the US has urged member centers to encourage anyone who is eligible to send in their application as soon as possible.

    The new fees come into effect on July 30 and will apply to applications or petitions filed on or after that date.

    More information is available on the USCIS website.

    Justice for Immigrants group urges action

    Monday, May 28th, 2007

    The Justice for Immigrants campaign, a coalition of Catholic groups in the US, is urging continued action on comprehensive immigration reform. In their latest action alert, they are urging US residents to contact their senators with the following message:

    I support an immigration reform bill which 1) has a workable and realistic path to permanent residence for the undocumented; 2) creates a meaningful path to citizenship for those in the temporary worker program; and 3) preserves family unity in the U.S. immigration system.

    I ask you to support changes to the legislation which would:

    1. Preserve family reunification as the cornerstone of the U.S. immigration system by maintaining categories for certain family members;
    2. Create a meaningful “bridge” to permanent status for temporary workers by giving them access to permanent residency visas (“green” cards);
    3. Remove the requirement that immigrants eligible under the “Z” visa legalization program must return to their country of origin to apply for permanent residency;
    4. Permit immediate relatives (spouses and minor children) to join the “Z” visa holder in the United States upon eligibility;
    5. Establish deadlines not dependent on “triggers” by when the temporary worker program and the permanent residency portion of the “Z” visa program must be implemented.


    Justice for Immigrants is asking for its members to take this action from May 25 to June 2, when Senators are in their district offices.

    The group has not taken a stance on the current bill making its way through the Senate but say they are working to ensure that the most humane solution possible is achieved.


    Vietnamese the “new Irish” in US priesthood

    Monday, May 28th, 2007

    Vietnamese priests in the US are being referred to as the “new Irish”, according to an article in the California Catholic Daily. The article points out that the Irish-born accounted for 80% of the priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s; their places have now been taken by Latin Americans, Nigerians, and people from South and Southeast Asia.

    “Vietnamese priests are filling the gap,? Ryan Lilyengren, a spokesman for the diocese of Orange, told the Los Angeles Times. “People are calling them the new Irish.?

    Vietnamese Catholics number only about 300,000 (or about 1% of US Catholics), but they along with other Asian seminarians make up 12% of the nation’s seminarians.

    Read the article on the California Catholic website.

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