At the request of many prominent politicians, including senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsay Graham, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has intervened to postpone the deportation of former Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) member Malachy McAllister.
McAllister, 59, was jailed for seven years for attacks on Royal Ulster Constabulary officers during the 1981 hunger strikes. He did not participate in any further paramilitary activity after being released in 1985. After a loyalist gun attack on his home in Belfast in 1988, he fled to the United States and now runs two businesses: a construction company in New Jersey and an Irish pub in Manhattan.
Although he sought asylum in 1996, McAllister’s application has been repeatedly denied by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, which still classifies his previous activity as “terrorist” in nature, despite the U.S.’s strong support for the Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland’s peace process.
McAleenan has made a decision “in accordance with standing policy” to put a stay on the deportation for a further six months for the purpose of allowing the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsay Graham, and other members of Congress to pass a private bill allowing McAllister to remain in the United States, where he has lived for decades. He and his late wife have several children and grandchildren.
“Despite being a prima facie example of the greatness of the American dream as a land of second opportunities, the McAllister family continues to live their lives in one-year, and recently six-month, intervals,” the Ancient Order of Hibernians said in a statement, continuing, “Let Malachy McAllister and his family enjoy the peace and security that America has symbolized for generations of immigrants.” ♦