- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Irish crusade

P.J. Bradley stumped the halls of Congress, dropping off letters at offices in both the Senate and House, and pleading the cause of thousands of illegal aliens from Ireland.

“I am delivering messages to the tables of America’s top politicians to ask them for support for undocumented Irish,” said Mr. Bradley, who represented the Social Democratic and Labor Party of Northern Ireland.

The Irish illegals problem pales in comparison with the Mexican one, but Mr. Bradley is as passionate as any Hispanic politician arguing for amnesty.

Mr. Bradley said he spent last week “at full throttle” on the Hill, where he said he is picking up support from lawmakers such as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.

“We are urging them for a pathway to legality and an opportunity for the undocumented Irish to receive green cards and be allowed to continue to live and work in the United States,” Mr. Bradley said.

He said he understands the complexity of the U.S. debate over illegal aliens and insists his campaign is designed “not to threaten the safety of the American nation, nor is it to undermine immigration laws.”

“The Irish-American community is an integral part of American society, and I am urging members of Congress to recognize this,” Mr. Bradley said.

“Thousands of families across the island of Ireland, and indeed many from the north, have loved ones who have left Ireland and have set up home in America. … America has been good to the Irish for very many years.

“It has become a second home to many Irish people. We want to see that bond between the two nations continue.”

Fighting poverty

Rich nations must balance the need for security with their duty to help the poor in undeveloped countries, a British official said, as he urged a Washington think tank to consider the victories in the global war on poverty.

Hilary Benn, secretary of state for international development, noted that worldwide life expectancy increased by 25 percent and illiteracy fell by half in the past 40 years.

“Our growing interdependence as a world means that we are increasingly affected by what happens in other countries, including conflict, terrorism and religious extremism,” he told the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week.

“We are all concerned to ensure our security, but we cannot cut ourselves off. We have a global responsibility and also a duty to use our influence responsibly and with understanding of how others see us. It is not an easy task.”

Mr. Benn called for debt relief to prevent indebted nations from making “that awful choice between pay the debt or paying the doctors and nurses who will save people’s lives.”

“Providing education, clean water and health care for all the world’s children and defeating AIDS is the great moral and practical challenge of our generation,” he said.

Saudi justice

Saudi Ambassador Prince Turki al-Faisal wants Saudi prisoners held by U.S. authorities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, returned to the desert kingdom to face trial.

“If there are any crimes that they have committed, they will be tried in Saudi courts and face punishment for those crimes,” he said on a recent visit to Sweden, where he attended a conference on globalization.

The Defense Department last week announced the pending transfer of 14 Saudi detainees to the custody of the Saudi government. Of about 450 terror suspects held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba, about 100 are Saudis.

The nongovernmental organization Human Rights Watch fears the suspects might be worse off in Saudi Arabia, where they are “unlikely to receive a fair trial and are at risk of torture.”

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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