Miami Immigration Lawyer Reports Irish Immigrants May Gain Access to U.S. Despite Stalled Immigration Reform

Law Firm Newswire



Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 30, 2012 – It has to be an election year, when the politicians decide to allow more Irish immigrants to come to the U.S.

“Politicians don’t agree on much, but even less so during an election year. But this year, they think they found an immigration issue that everyone can agree on; allowing more Irish immigrants into the U.S. This is about the only thing relating to immigration reform that is actually moving along smartly. Both parties evidently are behind legislation that would let 10,500 Irish nationals come to work in the U.S. every year,” said Larry S. Rifkin, managing partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, an immigration law firm with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida.

And this helps immigration reform how? Many political pundits and immigration activists suggest this is a thinly veiled move, to curry favor with European immigrants, rather than Asians or Latinos. In other words, in some jurisdictions, Irish residents represent one in four homes in polling districts. Seem from a different perspective it would also appear that allowing Irish immigrants in the country seems more acceptable than giving the green light to Hispanics. “Bottom line? This is discrimination. There isn’t any other way to describe it,” added Rifkin.

While some would say discrimination, others would claim, as does the Senator that sponsored the Bill, the government is just trying to reverse discrimination against Irish nationals, created by an immigration shakeup in 1965. That shakeup ended a distinct bias against Latin, African and Asian immigrants, but in the process, made things difficult for Irish nationals. Since 1965, Latinos and Asians have become the predominate groups allowed into the country, and based on the concept of family reunification, families of those allowed in are given priority status of U.S. visas.

Evidently, roughly 40 million Americans claim Irish descent, which is approximately 13 percent of the nation’s 313 million people. Hispanics comprise about 16 percent. In the 1960s, Irish immigrants obtained permanent legal status at the rate of 38,000 a year. That number dropped precipitously to 16,000 during a nine year window, from 2000 to 2009.

On first blush, the idea behind letting in more Irish immigrants is a good one, it rankles immigrant-rights groups; with good reason. The politicians backing this bill are the same ones opposing measures to benefit Latinos and other immigrant groups. The most telling point, is that Senator Brown, is vehemently opposed to offering any method of attaining citizenship for the 11 million immigrants already in the U.S. and has also shot down the DREAM Act.

“Which is it? Equal access to the ability to obtain citizenship or selective access to the ability to get citizenship status? It ‘looks’ like selective access, and as a nation, we should have a problem with that. As immigration attorneys, we do have a problem with that, for good reasons,” Rifkin observed.

While the politicians say they care about ‘all’ immigrants, based on this latest bill, combined with their opposition to doing anything useful and relevant about immigration reform, it is hard to believe that assertion. “What is next? That is the million dollar question, but you can pretty much be assured that immigration reform is ‘not’ next, and may never be, largely because it does not seem to be in anyone’s best political interests to take a stand to deal with it,” suggested Rifkin.

To learn more or to contact an Orlando immigration attorney or Miami immigration attorney, visit

Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A.
1110 Brickell Avenue
Suite 210
Miami, Florida 33131
Toll Free: (866) 681-0202

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