- 15 Nov 16
The chairperson of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in the USA is urging the media to stop sensationalizing President-elect Donald Trump’s comments on immigration.
In a statement aimed at calming Irish illegal immigrants based in the USA, Ciaran Staunton has expressed concern at misleading media reports about the potential deportation of undocumented immigrants under the platform put forward by president-elect Donald Trump.
In a wide-ranging interview on Sunday night’s iconic TV show 60 Minutes, the former TV reality star Trump said he plans to deport between 2 or 3 million illegal when he gets his hands on the keys to the White House.
It’s an astronomical figure when you look at the fact that fewer than 200,000 illegal immigrants were deported in 2014, according to a recent report.
"We would like to emphasise that Donald Trump himself has said that he wants US. authorities to focus on undocumented immigrants who have criminal records, not those without criminal records,” points out the New York-based Ciaran Staunton.
Ciaran was a leading force behind the Donnelly and Morrison visa schemes and was one of the major players on the American side – along with his brother-in-law Niall O’Dowd, the publisher of the Irish Voice – of the Good Friday Agreement. They both famously lobbied for Gerry Adams to get his US visa.
Trump said in the interview, “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminals and have criminal records – gang members, drug dealers . . . we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate."
Ciaran continued, "We must not scare and cause unnecessary concern in our community with false and sensationalized headlines, we all have responsibility to report the truth and provide our community with real updates on what is happening.”
On the CBS show, Trump added that after the border with Mexico is “secure and after everything gets normalized, we're going to make a determination on the people that they're talking about who are terrific people, they're terrific people but we are going to make a determination at that”.
Ciaran believes this is a much softer approach from the president-elected. "While we are all concerned with many of President-elect Trump's statements on immigration during his campaign,” adds Ciaran, “we urge people not make any rash decisions or live in fear of a knock on the door. We will keep a close eye on events as they progress in Washington.”
The Queens-based business man, along with his wife Orlaith, also founded the Rory Staunton Foundation, in memory of their 12-year-old son who tragically died back in March 2012 from Septicaemia – which is a life-threatening but preventable bacterial blood infection – after getting a small cut on his elbow during a basketball game.
Since its inception back in 2013, the Rory Staunton Foundation has already successful lobbied for new legislation known as the “Rory Regulations” that now makes it mandatory for New York hospitals to check for the disease. It was estimated that at least 8,000 lives were saved alone in New York because of the legislation in the year 2013.
During the early days of the formation of the foundation, Ciaran had also talked personally to President Obama and the Irish government about their campaign. In fact, Ciaran was a regular visitor to the White House duringthe Ombama regime and he often would bring his son Rory with him on those trips to Washington. It was here that his son met the likes of Enda Kenny, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.
It was a victory – albeit a hollow one – when he and his wife persuaded the New York Mayor to bring in the legislation named in Rory’s honour back in May 2013. Ciaran told Hot Press that he believes their efforts will eventually “save millions”.
It both upsets and angers the Staunton’s that they’d never heard of this killer disease – one that is the cause of approximately 44 deaths each week in Germany – until their own son was taken so cruelly from them after a seemingly innocuous cut on his elbow. He had been seen at the hospital for the cut, but when he became sick the next day with a high temperature it was dismissed by medics as nothing more than flu.
“We start every day with the word “Why? Why did this happen?” And one of the things is, why didn’t the world know about it? Why didn’t we know about it? Why didn’t every hospital know about it? And the only one thing we can do is spread the word – Sepsis kills,” Rory tells me.
“‘You stop any parent in Ireland or anywhere in the world today and ask them, ‘What is the largest killer of children?’ And I’m sure they’ll come up with meningitis or malaria – but it is Sepsis.
“‘Sepsis is the largest killer of children in the world right now. It kills more Americans than AIDS. We have tried to make sure that no other parents went to a hospital with a child not knowing that there’s a disease out there that could kill their child.
‘Since we started the campaign to let people know about Sepsis, we’ve got a lot of emails back from people. One person in particular said they refused to leave the hospital until their son was checked for Sepsis. The son was checked, he had Sepsis. She said, ‘Our son is alive because of your son’.”
For further information about the Rory Staunton Foundation check out the website https://rorystauntonfoundationforsepsis.org