Irish family under siege by U.S. agents
An Irish Republican is facing expulsion from the US after an
immigration court rejected an appeal against his deportation.
Malachy McAllister is a former member of the INLA, a small
republican group which ceased its armed struggle against
British rule in 1994.
He and his family fled Belfast in 1988 after a loyalist gun
attack on his Ormeau Road home.
Malachy applied for refugee status to the US government in
1994 on grounds that his life would be in danger if he
returned home. A federal judge found that the family had
suffered "severe persecution" and granted them political
asylum in the United States.
The family, which currently lives in New Jersey, is in danger
of being torn asunder on the eve of Thanksgiving. Malachy
faces immediate deportation, while his wife Bernadette and
their four children have been given 30 days to leave the US.
Malachy's 26-year-old son, who is now married to an American
citizen, is also included in last week's deportation order.
According to the family, as the McAllisters raced to file
their appeals, around 20 agents of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security surrounded their home in the early hours of
Friday morning, and two agents barged their way into her home
looking for Malachy.
Despite a temporary stay of the deportation order pending a
decision by an appeal court, the agents remain staked out at
the McAllister home and continue to treat Malachy McAllister
as a fugitive.
Malachy's wife, Bernadette is being threatened with criminal
arrest for "obstruction of justice."
The U.S. courts recently ruled in favour of the deportation of
another former INLA man, John Edward McNicholl, and refused to
hear an appeal to suspend McNicholl's deportation.
His wife, a US citizen, and two of the couple's three
children, also citizens, were forced to follow McNicholl to
It appears that the U.S. agents are attempting to action the
deportation of the McAllister before the appeal court makes a
Clara Reilly, chairwoman of Relatives for Justice, said that
she met the McAllister family and their lawyer in New York
last month, and later lobbied congressmen about the case.
She said security information and a rifle used in the 1988
attack on their home were later found in a house in a loyalist
area of south Belfast, and questioned whether security
services also had an influence in US immigration proceedings.
"We would urge all politicians both in Ireland the US to apply
whatever influence they can bring to bear in ensuring that the
McAllister family remains in the US and far from those who may
wish to harm them," she said
"This is undoubtedly a human rights matter,"