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    NY Times speculates on Irish return to city

    Monday, February 11th, 2008

    The Irish may be coming back to the New York neighborhood of Woodlawn, suggests an article in the New York Times. In an article entitled, rather tweely, “Return Trip on the Shamrock Express”, journalist James Angelos suggests that the trend of return migration back to Ireland, driven by the Irish boom and the post-9/11 crackdown on the undocumented, may be reversing. The article cites the recent Irish Voice article that suggested agencies working with Irish immigrants are busier with new arrivals in recent weeks.

    The journalist quotes Siobhán Dennehy, executive director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center of New York, who says she has noticed more new immigrants coming in making inquiries about housing and jobs. She says that many of them would be former New York residents who have returned to the city after a stay back home, finding Ireland’s housing expensive and the job scene slowing.

    Not everyone agrees with the notion that the Irish are returning, however: One waitress says that if more Irish are arriving, she hasn’t seen them.

    The article concludes with a quote from one new arrival, a visa holder from Northern Ireland who arrived in September. He says he came over when the slowdown in the construction industry hit him. He claimed more emigrants would be coming back to New York “because there is no work left in Ireland?.

    That sentiment, of course, seems to be overstating the case. The current unemployment rate in Ireland, while higher than in recent years, still stands at a very low 4.8%. Recent census figures, however, do point to a rise in emigration last year, probably fuelled at least in part by an increase in return migration among Eastern Europeans. In addition, male migration to Ireland has slowed, possibly due to a decrease in the number of jobs available in construction.

    Read the whole article on the New York Times site.

    New influx into US, say centres

    Thursday, January 31st, 2008

    Irish immigration centres in the US are reporting that there has been an increase in new arrivals from Ireland, according to a report in last week’s Irish Voice newspaper. The paper interviewed Irish centres in Boston, New York, and San Francisco, and all have reported a rise in the number of recently arrived people seeking their services.

    Orla Kelleher of the Aisling Centre called the increase in numbers “a huge turnaround”. The new arrivals tend to be in their early to mid-twenties, and men and women are coming in equal numbers. Most of them are from the north, northwest and west of Ireland. Most of them are arriving with at least one friend, and sometimes in groups.

    Kelleher says most of the women have degrees and are looking for work in hospitality, and most of the men are in trades and looking for construction work. She notes, worryingly, that few are worried about the consequences of overstaying their three-month legal stay.

    Irish immigrant in NY fights extradition

    Monday, January 28th, 2008

    A County Louth native is fighting extradition from the US. Joe Byrne, a resident of Pearl River, New York, is facing an extradition warrant filed by the Director of Public Prosecution in Ireland. Authorities there allege he was involved in two robberies over ten years ago. Mr Byrne was questioned by gardai in 1997 over the case, in which £8,200 was stolen from a pub; at that time, he was released without charge. Shortly after, he moved to the US, met his wife, Eileen, and received a green card; on the application, he admitted that he had been questioned in the case and provided a reference from the gardai in Dundalk.

    In July 2006, however, he was arrested by FBI agents on the warrant from the Irish authorities. Last fall, a court in New York decided against him.

    His extradition was originally scheduled to take place before 29th of January, but the Department of State has agreed to put off the extradition until at least next month.

    Mr Byrne’s wife, Eileen, told the Irish Emigrant that she fears for his life were he to be extradited, saying the main person involved in the robbery was a known member of the INLA.

    The Ancient Order of Hibernians is supporting a petition campaign to stop the extradition.

    Read the full story in the Irish Emigrant.

    View the petition to stop the extradition.

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