Keith Byrne's family 'delighted' as he is due to be released from prison in US

Keith Byrne's family 'delighted' as he is due to be released from prison in US

Update 7.10pm: The brother of a man fighting deportation from the US has said the family are "absolutely delighted" as he is due be released from prison.

Keith Byrne, originally from Fermoy, Cork, has had his deportation order frozen and is to be released from prison following an order by a United States federal judge.

Mr Byrne originally moved to the US in 2007.

He married his wife Keren in 2009 and the couple have two children – Leona, 6, and Gabriel, 4. He is also stepfather to Mrs Byrne’s 13-year-old son Ezra, his family said.

He originally travelled to the US on the Visa Waiver Programme but did not leave when his permitted time in the country expired. He has been attempting to secure citizenship for around 10 years.

He was arrested earlier this month by officers from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1's Drivetime, Mr Byrne's brother Greg said "it hasn't hit home" for Keith adding that "hopefully when he's sitting in the car with the seatbelt on in a few hours it will hit home."

Greg said that the family were "absolutely delighted" that Keith is to be released.

He added that Keith is "nervous" about going to see his children again.

"He can't wait. The whole family are overjoyed. I suppose I just can't wait for him to get home to his family. That what this is really all about," Greg said.

"I know Keith has a long road to go yet, but hopefully this is the start of some positive appeals for Keith and he'll get to stay with his family for the rest of his life."

Speaking on the same show, Stephen Antwine - who is part of Mr Byrne's legal team - said: "At this point, we have an order granting Keith's release for 30 days.

"And essentially during that 30 days, the case is going to be moved to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at which time ICE and the federal government can argue what they'd like.

"But we are essentially arguing is that Keith's green card application was not properly adjudicated, and so we'll be making that argument in front of the judges of the Eastern District."

Mr Antwine said that while Mr Byrne is out free for 30 days, he could be imprisoned again.

"He was granted the 30 day release, however in that 30 days we anticipate filing another injunction in Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

"And we're going to essentially be requesting that same release, that is his continued release from prison and a continued stay of removal until the Eastern District can decide the case - the actual immigration case - on the merits."

Earlier: Corkman Keith Byrne released from prison in the US

By Digital Desk saff

Keith Byrne has had his deportation order frozen and is to be released from prison following an order by a United States federal judge.

The Cork man was arrested by immigration officials two weeks ago for overstaying his visa when he entered the country in 2007.

Mr Byrne's family are hopeful he will be home by the end of today.

Mr Byrne's immigration lawyer Thomas Griffin says Keith's immigration battle is not over yet, but for now he is free to work and live in the United States.

"He [the judge] said I'm freeing him for the temporary period to make his case while he's home in the federal court that is closet to his house and how that plays out is out of my control," said Mr Griffin.

"He [Mr Byrne] may end up deported at the end of the hearing if we lose during this temporary stay and release.

"The whole purpose of it is so he can make his case one more time."

Mr Byrne's father, Jim, said his son's fight is not over yet:

"It's a massive victory," he stated. "It's just one victory and they're going to have to go through it again.

But it's the first time I've spoken to Keith's wife since it happened that she wasn't crying. She was happy. And that's a good thing.

Keith, 37, from Fermoy in Co Cork, moved to the US in 2007. He married Keren in 2009 and the couple have two children – Leona, 6, and Gabriel, 4. He is also stepfather to Mrs Byrne’s 13-year-old son Ezra, his family said.

He originally travelled to the US on the Visa Waiver Programme but did not leave when his permitted time in the country expired. He has been attempting to secure citizenship for around 10 years.


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