Most major news outlets around the world have covered President Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and his travel ban that targets predominantly Muslim countries. However, these reports overlooked the fact that tighter immigration restrictions could also affect immigrants from western European nations.

CNN recently investigated how the Irish population in the United States is responding to the trend toward stricter immigration regulations. Approximately 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants currently live in the United States, many of whom have been here for decades.

One immigrant who CNN interviewed confessed that being an undocumented immigrant is easier if you’re white – you are spared the racist rhetoric and are better able to stay under the radar – but the fear of deportation is still there. Illegal Irish immigrants are still reluctant to call the police when they are victims of crimes, and they are even hesitant to seek healthcare when their children are sick.

It is not easy for an illegal immigrant to become a lawful permanent resident. Depending on your situation, though, it may be possible for you to live and work legally in the United States. If you would like to discuss your case with a green card lawyer in Louisville, contact the O’Brien Law Group.

Rusty O’Brien is the former MidSouth region chapter chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AIM). He has more than 10 years of experience helping families and individuals navigate U.S. immigration laws. Call 502-400-7890 today to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney.

Stricter Immigration Policies Are Stirring Anxiety among Undocumented Irish in the United States

Orla Kelleher runs the Aisling Irish Community Center, which provides support to immigrants who need a job, a place to live, or legal advice. According to Kelleher, the center has seen a three-fold increase in the number of undocumented Irish immigrants seeking legal advice since Trump’s travel ban in January.

Many of these immigrants entered the country legally but chose to overstay their visas. In fact, about 40 percent of all unauthorized immigrants in the United States have overstayed their visas. This statistic is a direct contradiction to the popular argument that the vast majority of illegal immigrants crossed the border without a visa.

Although thousands of undocumented Irish immigrants have lived in the United States for well over a decade, they still face an uncertain future under the Trump Administration. According to Ciaran Staunton, a member of the Irish lobby for immigration reform, there is still no path to citizenship for immigrants from Ireland who overstayed their visas, and those who are caught could be banned from the country.

Some undocumented immigrants attempt to attain lawful permanent residency through marriage. However, marrying someone just to obtain a visa is considered immigration fraud, which comes with severe penalties for both the immigrant and the U.S. citizen.

Becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States is never a straightforward process. If you or a member of your family would like to live and work in the United States, contact the O’Brien Law Group to discuss your case. Call 502-400-7890 to schedule a consultation with a green card lawyer in Louisville.


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