The Celts for Immigration Reform was founded in 2005 after the Irish community in Chicago recognized the need for an advocacy organization to be created on behalf of Irish immigrants. The Celts for Immigration Reform (CIR) is a lobbying and community-organizing group with one goal in mind, the legalization of the 12 million undocumented workers – 50,000 of who are Irish- in the USA. The Celts work tirelessly with a group of committed volunteers to visit and advocate Congressmen and Senators to bring forth legislation which will reform America’s immigration system and provide relief to 50,000 Irish nationals and their families.
CIR has built relationships with many immigration advocacy groups as well as lawmakers to bring about change on the State and National Level. CIR have been very active at the state level by meeting with Republican and Democratic legislators to push immigrant friendly legislation in Illinois. That fight will continue at the state and national level with a strong focus on bipartisanship. CIR have also been very involved with the White House and Irish Ambassador in ensuring that the President’s recent immigration executive order cover as many people as possible and allow Irish recipients to travel home without fear of being refused reentry.
CIR is working at the state level this year (2017) to pass SB22 the IL Trust Act, which will try to halt deportations by breaking the link between local law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will benefit the 5000 undocumented Irish in Illinois. The president’s recent executive order Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), which provides relief from deportation to the undocumented parents of US citizen or legal permanent resident (LPR) children will affect 3-4 million nationally or one quarter of the total. Those estimations imply that around 13,000 of the 50,000 undocumented Irish would benefit.
The CIR is not a direct service agency but rather a lobbying group that advocates for reform of our immigration system in the USA. Our aim is to regularize the status of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish living in the USA and to create continued future flow of immigration from Ireland. The current E3 initiative that CIR is intimately involved in would allow for 10000 visas annually for Ireland. It does not in its current form contain any waivers of 3 or 10 year bars that would enable the undocumented to return to Ireland and secure a visa but we are cautiously pushing for that behind the scenes.
–Celts for Immigration Reform is a partner of Chicago Irish Immigrant Support. Although CIR and CIIS work closely together they are separate organizations.–