Irishman in US told to return to Ireland or face jail 4 months ago

Irishman in US told to return to Ireland or face jail

Keith Byrne has lived in America with his family for over 10 years.

A Corkman who was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in Philadelphia on Wednesday, 10 July has been told he has until Friday to decide whether he will leave the country or he could face jail time.

Keith Byrne was arrested for immigration violations while on his way to work.

He was also issued with a visa-waiver removal order, according to RTÉ.

Speaking to RTÉ from Fermoy, Mr Byrne's brother, Greg, said Keith called him yesterday from the detention centre and told him that an ICE official offered him a deal.

Greg Byrne said that his brother has until Friday to sign documentation that would give him a passport to leave the country, but ban him from entering the US for five years, or he could face up to four years in jail.

After the five years have passed, he would be able to reapply for visiting rights to the US, but it would not be guaranteed.

Since Byrne married his wife in 2009, he has tried on a number of occasions to adjust his status, but he has been met with refusals each time.

According to court documents in the United States from 2015, Byrne's application for a visa was denied because he was arrested twice in Ireland for marijuana possession, for which he paid a fine on both occasions.

Byrne has a stepson in the US, who he has raised since he was an infant, which explains the reluctance to move back to Ireland.

It is understood that the Byrne family spoke to Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney about the issue on Tuesday night.