The illegal immigrant Irish community was shocked to discover that a popular immigrant who overstayed his visa was nabbed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and is set to be deported.
John Cunningham is a prominent community figure in the Boston area, with a successful electrician business, but that didn't stop ICE from arresting him for immigration violations.
“John Cunningham, an Irish national, was arrested by ICE officers for immigration violations," said ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer in a statement. “Cunningham entered the country lawfully under the Visa Waiver Program, but failed to depart in compliance with the terms of his visit.”
A consequence of violating the Visa Waiver Program is that Cunningham waives his right to an immigration hearing, and goes into mandatory detention.
“There’s a great deal of fear in the Irish American community and the Irish community," said immigration lawyer John Foley, a friend of Cunningham's. “I went to see [Mr. Cunningham] on Sunday and, basically, his world has been turned upside down, he’s been hit with an immigration tsunami.
“Life as he knew it, is over,” Foley said.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has vowed to protect all illegal aliens in his city, and admonished an Irish politician for petitioning President Donald Trump on behalf of only Irish illegal immigrants.
It's estimated that there are 50,000 Irish citizens illegally residing in the United States.