Immigrants who leave America for greener pastures often regret it

January 18, 2011 § 1 Comment

Follow the money – it’s the way of the world. But immigrants who pursue the proverbial greener pastures can find themselves chewed up by volatile economies, coming and going. Lorraine O’Kane, for one, moved to the US from Northern Ireland in 2003, got a green card and went to work in an Ardmore bank. Only four years later, she was lured back home by the roar of the “Celtic Tiger,” as the Republic of Ireland’s then-surging economy was known. Today, though, the tiger barely mews. Giddy prosperity has turned to near-bankruptcy for the Irish government, and desperation for the citizenry. For the 28-year-old bookkeeper, recession-wracked America, where unemployment hovers just below 10%, is preferable. She’d love to return, she said from her home near Belfast. But that seems impossible. Her green card is labeled “abandoned” by immigration officials here because she has lived outside the US for more than a year. And it cannot be easily revived because she failed to apply for a reentry permit when she left. “I always did like America,” she said with a transatlantic sigh. “It was a stupid decision to leave.” That has become a common lament, said Siobhan Lyons, executive director of the Irish Immigration Center, a resettlement agency in Upper Darby. (


§ One Response to Immigrants who leave America for greener pastures often regret it

  • Thomas says:

    Immigration attorneys are known for their non-responsiveness from the time get paid in advance. Mr. York is the one and only one I ever met who stood by me until the case was resolved.

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