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Unintended Consequences


by Ray O’Hanlon

As Ray O’Hanlon’s impressively thorough history of Irish immigration to the United States shows, people here have been looking across the Atlantic Ocean with longing and fascination for centuries. In recent decades, however, this story has been dominated by political rows, legal logjams and emotional insecurity. Despite the dewy-eyed rhetoric of presidents from John F Kennedy to Joe Biden, roughly 15,000 Irish citizens across the 50 states still live in constant fear of a knock at the door and a one-way ticket home…Unintended Consequences feels like the definitive version of a story that should be much better known. –Sunday Business Post

Unintended Consequences: The Story of Irish Immigration to the U.S. and How America s Door was Closed to the Irish

Unintended Consequences reveals how America’s door closed on legal Irish immigration in the 1960s, and how America’s Irish mounted a counterattack when nation-changing political forces were sweeping the country during the era of civil rights, political assassinations, and the Vietnam War.

This book looks at the full historical background to Irish migration across the Atlantic, how it helped shape the young republic, and how the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 brought a near total halt to this westward flow. Nevertheless, the Irish would not be denied and continued to make the journey, no longer into the light of a full and legal American life, but rather into the shadows of an undocumented existence. Successive organisations championed the undocumented Irish, and the fight continues to this day, but this is a new America, where, in recent years, there has been growing hostility to immigrants of every nationality. Ray O’Hanlon has spent over three decades reporting on battles over comprehensive U.S. immigration reform, and Unintended Consequences is the story of the Irish past, its present, and most uncertain future in the ‘land of the free,’ now in the presidency of Joe Biden, a man who fully embraces his Irish immigrant family story. Through Biden, the great Irish of America story continues, and with renewed hope.

About the Author

Ray O’Hanlon is the editor of the New York City-published Irish Echo newspaper. A native of Dublin, O’Hanlon has reported from four continents in a newspaper career spanning forty-one years. In addition to his work as a reporter and editor, O’Hanlon has been a frequent contributor to US, Irish and British media outlets reporting on Ireland, Irish American affairs, and Anglo-Irish relations. His book, The New Irish Americans (1998) was the recipient of a Washington Irving Book Award, and The South Lawn Plot, his first fiction work, was published in 2011.

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Weight 0.45 kg
Dimensions 13 × 3.5 × 19.7 cm

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