Monday 25 September 2017

'This country is going to be crazy for the next four years' - Irish-American families' fears over Trump presidency

Michelle Shanaghywith her husband Colter Dahl and their children Cooper (4), and Gunner (2). Picture: Caroline Quinn
Michelle Shanaghywith her husband Colter Dahl and their children Cooper (4), and Gunner (2). Picture: Caroline Quinn

Kevin Doyle and Wayne O'Connor

Donald Trump's election has heightened fears among Irish-Americans who are in the country illegally - but few expect him to actually follow through on his threat to initiate widespread deportations.

The president-elect has signalled immigration policy reform will be key to his tenure, with the J1 working visa and undocumented residents among his targets.

Despite being an illegal resident in New York for 18 years Keelan McLaughlin from Buncrana, Co Donegal runs a successful electrical contracting business.

"Trump wouldn't want me in here at all. It's an ongoing joke. This country is going to be crazy for the next four years," he told the Irish Independent.

"I don't know if he'll do as much with immigration as he says. He won't be allowed to do it. You're not talking about three months time. It will be two to three years before he can do anything."

Michelle Shanaghy-Dahl from Cavan is married to an American and has two children, aged two and four.

She has a family member who is illegal but shares the view that there's no need to be overly worried just yet.

"He's all talk. He's not going to be able to round them all up," she said.

Declan Kennedy (24), from Kerry, went on a J1 to Chicago four years ago before moving back to the 'Windy City' the following year after he was granted a visa.

He found work as an engineer and has regular employment but said he is worried about his future in the country.

Demonstrators chant slogans in New York during a protest against the election of Donald Trump (AP)
Demonstrators chant slogans in New York during a protest against the election of Donald Trump (AP)
Protesters are stopped by Los Angeles Police officers during a protest and march against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 11, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
Protesters are surrounded by Los Angeles Police Department officers before they were detained in Grand park across Los Angeles City hall after a march and rally against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
Protesters are detained by Los Angeles Police Department officers after a march and rally against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 12, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
California Highway Patrol officers are deployed at the entrances of the 110 freeway in an attempt to stop protesters getting on the freeway to block traffic during a march and rally against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 12, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
Protesters march in the streets of Downtown Los Angeles during march and rally against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Los Angeles, California. Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
Protesters take part in a march and rally against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 12, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
Protesters march in the streets of Downtown Los Angeles during march and rally against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Los Angeles, California. Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
Several hundred protesters are arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers after a march and rally in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 12, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
Protesters march in the street to demonstrate against the election of President-elect Donald Trump in Atlanta, Friday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Michael Moore joins demonstrators in New York during a protest against the election of Donald Trump (AP)
Police detain a demonstrator at a protest in Portland, Oregon, against the election of Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
People gather at Portland City Hall to protest of the election of president-elect, Donald Trump. Photo: Mark Graves/The Oregonian via AP

"There is a lot of hype about there being big changes on the way and a part of me does think that a lot of what Trump has promised cannot happen because there are so many other people calling the shots there too."

Kieron Crampsey from Donegal has been in New York since 2002 and owns the Three Monkeys pub in Manhattan.

A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police after shouting his views, and disrupting an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump winning the American election, outside the U.S. embassy in London, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police after shouting his views, and disrupting an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump winning the American election, outside the U.S. embassy in London, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
People protest on the University of Connecticut campus against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)
Protesters walk in the middle of traffic lanes after Donald Trump's election victory, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 in downtown, Portland, Ore. Portland police made no arrests during Tuesday night's post-election protest. (Stephanie Yao Long//The Oregonian via AP)
Protesters walk in the middle of traffic lanes after Donald Trump's election victory, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 in downtown, Portland, Ore. Portland police made no arrests during Tuesday night's post-election protest. (Stephanie Yao Long//The Oregonian via AP)
Berkeley High School students assemble on the UC Berkeley campus in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage TEMPLATE OUT
A young man wearing a Berkeley High Class of 2016 shirt wipes away ters during a protest in response to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Berkeley High School students begin to march after assembling in front of Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Alice Bynum (C) stands with other Berkeley High School staff members and holds a sign while attending a protest about the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Two young women hold up a sign reading "nasty women unite" in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Placards lay on the floor during an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. Picture rotated 180 degrees. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police during a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group expresses his views to media during a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A woman holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Demonstrators protest against the election of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump in front of the White House in Washington November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
A woman holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man holds placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
University of California, Davis students protest on campus in Davis, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Max Whittaker/File Photo
A protester faces a police line in downtown Oakland, Calif., early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
Police officers walk past an overturned newspaper rack during protests in Oakland, Calif., late Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group via AP)
Madeline Lopes, left, and Cassidy Irwin, both of Oakland, march with other protesters in downtown Oakland, Calif., early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
An Oakland police officer checks out damage after a window was broken by protesters at a car dealership in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
A trash fire burns during protests in Oakland, Calif., late Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group via AP)
A woman yells as she takes part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
University of California, Davis students protest on campus in Davis, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

He described Trump as "just a maniac", but added that many reasonable people voted Trump to "shake things up".

Irish Independent

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