It was with great sadness that the Irish International Immigrant Center learned of the passing of Mike Cummings on Saturday, October 1. Mike was a great friend of the IIIC, and of the cause of immigration reform in the United States.
Sister Lena Deevy spoke of Mike at the recent Conference of Irish Organizations, and of how he had advocated for immigration reform since the 1980s. He passed away peacefully that same day after a long, brave and inspirational battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Mike and local leaders formed the Massachusetts Immigration Committee, enlisting Congressman Brian Donnelly to help amend immigration laws, an effort which eventually led to the Donnelly Visa Bill.
Sister Lena recalled meeting Mike at many Irish events:
“I have no doubt that he would have been very proud of this first New England gathering of Irish organizations and seeing so many Irish organizations in the beautiful Irish Cultural Center in Canton.” she said.
“In my earlier days I had many conversations with Mike about immigration reform, the ‘new’ Irish, the Famine memorial, and various other issues. He was a trusted advisor, and I valued learning from his wise counsel. Mike has left a great legacy behind, and we express our deepest sympathy to his dear wife Noreen and the family.”