The independent London newspaper

Lessons from America about the persecution of migrants

14 April, 2017

• THERE are more Irish living outside Ireland than in it. Last month, St Patrick’s Day was therefore an opportunity for us to remind the world that Ireland is an immigrant nation.

This message has never been more relevant than today, with the suspicion of the outsider at the core of both Trump’s victory and, to an extent, Brexit.

This St Patrick’s Day, I had the pleasure of being invited in my capacity as chair of the London Irish Councillors Network to the Irish Stand civil rights event in New York.

This was an opportunity to stand in solidarity with our Irish American family to protest against President Trump’s immigration ban.

Speaking at the event were people from all nationalities and religious backgrounds who have contributed to American communities.

I met inspiring representatives from the Democratic Party including Max Kennedy, son of Robert F Kennedy, and Irish politicians, along with Irish playwrights and poets.

The event was also a call to arms, urging everyone to speak out against injustice.
If we allow persecution of immigrant communities, it will continue and eventually affect those closest to us.

Trump’s discriminatory immigration ban is wrong in every way. The Irish community know better than most what it is like to be persecuted and forced to emigrate.

That is why it is right that Irish communities around the world rally against Trump’s terrible policies.

I am proud to call Islington, a diverse and tolerant borough which is home to people from backgrounds across the world including Irish, my home.

Bunhill Ward


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