Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, The Power of Prayer Works, Ask the McAllister's !!




By ELIZABETH LLORENTE
SPECIAL TO THE HERALD NEWS



Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., introduced a private bill on Friday to give a Wallington man from Northern Ireland and his two adult children permanent residency in the United States.

Malachy McAllister has been fighting deportation by the Department of Homeland Security, which maintains his involvement in a 1981 wounding of a Royal Ulster constabulary officer in Northern Ireland makes him ineligible to remain in the United States.

McAllister, who served a prison term in Northern Ireland for acting as a lookout in the shooting, has argued that it occurred during a civil war. At the time, he belonged to a paramilitary group opposing British rule in Northern Ireland. He has said he fears persecution if forced to return there.

"I'm elated; it minimizes the stress that my children and I have had because of the threat hanging over our heads of being deported," McAllister said. "Hopefully I will be able to think of the future, of my children's education."

Menendez's bill, supporters say, is a last resort for McAllister, who has exhausted court appeals against deportation, which followed a denial of his request for political asylum.

Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, last year also introduced a private bill on McAllister's behalf, but it stalled in committee. A private bill is legislation on behalf of one person and must pass both houses of Congress and be signed into law by the president.

Though private relief bills rarely become law, Menendez's move likely will offer McAllister and his family a reprieve from deportation perhaps until 2009, when a new presidential administration takes over. Homeland Security officials typically stay deportation efforts while legislative action is pending on a private bill in Congress.

"This was a rare and unique case in which every determining factor weighed in favor of granting relief," Menendez said. "He fled Ireland under deadly circumstances, the dissenting judge in his case made a forceful argument on his behalf, and deporting him now could essentially be a death sentence."

McAllister's supporters, who have ranged from Irish-American activist groups to members of Congress, say that the stone masonry business owner has led a law-abiding life in the U.S. since he arrived in 1996.

McAllister and his wife, who died of cancer in 2004, and their children fled Northern Ireland for Canada after British loyalists fired 26 rounds into their Belfast home in 1988. They came to the U.S. after Canada denied the father political asylum."This is a strictly humanitarian issue," said Carol Russell of Morristown, who is part of the McAllister Family Campaign for Justice. "He's lived a good life in America. We all know Malachy's good character. "

Reach Elizabeth Llorente at llorente@northjersey.com


Art Hostage comments:


Through glazed eyes, Art Hostage declares,
"Freedom beckons, Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty the McAllister family are on their way to being free at last."



In a world full of bad news, this story brings a little light into the darkness.


Hopefully now the McAllister case will be resolved in 2009, when a new President is in the White House.


The power of prayer should never be underestimated.


A very big thank-you to the Lord.


May Your God go with you !!
Update !!
The actual paperwork can be found below:


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