Thursday, December 18, 2003


A naturalized citizen of Ireland, originally from Lebanon, is challenging the state's refusal to allow his first of two wives to come to Ireland. (The second wife has already been allowed to enter.)

This is stunning. How could the Department of Foreign Affairs not have realized that this might be a problem someday when they first allowed him to come here in 1998. And, who on Earth allowed the second wife to enter the country? I cannot believe they didn't see this as a potential problem.

If he were really fleeing persecution, then surely he could have come here temporarily while he sorted out a place to live in which he would not have trouble obeying the law. He knew when he first came here that he couldn't abide by the marriage laws of this state. And, if he didn't, surely the Department of Foreign Affairs knew?

But, worst of all, he was granted citizenship by the Department of Justice in 2002. To become a citizen of the US, the applicant must (among other things) have an "attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution" — that is, they must be willing to obey US law. Duh! What's required of an applicant for Irish citizenship?

I read this page and it's not quite clear that a willingness to obey the law is required. I guess that would fit under "good character"? I suppose I can understand not recognizing Lebanese marriages, but surely the Consular Officer or Justice Department officials could have asked the man if he considered both of these women to be his wives? If he had answered yes, then he was already outside Irish law, no?