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Deportation disgrace

I was very surprised and saddened to read of the deportation of an undocumented Galway carpenter from Boston after a traffic violation (Irish Independent, March 16).

This 31-year-old carpenter was driving home from a gym to be ready for work the next morning when he unknowingly made an illegal turn, for which he was fined $100 (€76).

On his way out of the courthouse, he was arrested by US Immigration officials, imprisoned for about a month and deported.

Unlike a great many of the estimated 12 million undocumented aliens who are now availing themselves of many benefits at taxpayers' expense, this Galway man seemed to be in excellent health and was putting his skills to very good use in this country. Therefore, he was an asset, not a burden, to the US, as was the case with millions of young Irish emigrants for the past two centuries.

Many of the young men of my generation who emigrated from Ireland to the States in the late 1950s and early 1960s served honourably in the military and continued to make valuable contributions to this country.

I spent four years in the US Marine Corps. The young Irish women who emigrated to America at that same time also contributed significantly to their adopted county.

But the US immigration laws of the late 1960s closed the door to almost all would-be emigrants from Ireland, a country whose emigrants contributed so much to America's War of Independence and so much more ever since.

Sean MacCurtain

Franklin, NY, USA

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