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    Actress at odds with US-Ireland Alliance on visa campaign

    By Noreen Bowden | January 17, 2008

    Actress Fionnuala Flanagan has refused to appear at an event sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance because of the stand the organisation has taken regarding the Irish undocumented in the US.

    US-Ireland Alliance director Trina Vargo wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the Irish Times in October, where she criticised the efforts of those who  are campaigning for a special deal that would allow the undocumented Irish to stay in the US. Some immigrant advocates had moved toward working toward such a special arrangement following the defeat of comprehensive immigration reform earlier last year.

    When Ms Flanagan heard of the article, she pulled out of a previously scheduled appearance. She wrote to Ms Vargo that she muse “respectfully decline to be honoured by your organisation which appears to have taken such a strong position against the most vulnerable of my countrymen”, according to the Irish Times.

    She further added that Irish immigrants had resorted to organised lobbying on their own behalf because they were disillusioned by the repeated failure of governments to solve the issue.

    Ms Vargo told the Irish Times, “Ms Flanagan supports a special deal for illegal Irish immigrants. I support legalisation of all immigrants”.

    See the article in the Irish Times (registration required).

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