Update: Irishman Keith Byrne agrees US deportation order

Update: Irishman Keith Byrne agrees US deportation order
Keith Byrne

Update: An Irishman caught up in the centre of an immigration dispute in the United States has agreed to his deportation order.

The Cork native has been living in the US since 2007, after overstaying his visa.

The married father of three was arrested last week in Pennyslvania.

Keith Byrne's father Jim has confirmed his son signed the documents this morning.

He said: "It means that he has agreed to the deportation order. If he didn't, it would have been a criminal offence.

"It takes between two to three weeks to process, if nothing happens in between he'll be heading home.

"That's as much as I know, I'm waiting for a call myself from Keith - that's just as good as it goes now.

"When the three weeks are up, if the lawyers and the Congressman can't work anything out he'll be home.

"I feel bitterly disappointed in that the Government here had no intervention or no even interest in the matter.

"And I'm not just talking about Keith - there were 45 Irish people deported from America last year. I don't know the circumstances of their deportation, but the Government never intervened in one of them."

"When [Taoiseach] Varadkar was asked yesterday about the case, he said 'I'm familiar with the case but I have no notion of interfering'.

"It's nonsensical... Government involvement in all these things - it's a joke. Only one TD called here to my house - Kevin O'Keeffe - to see me Monday evening.

"He couldn't believe that nobody actually called."

Earlier: Irishman Keith Byrne faces prison if he doesn't leave US today

Irishman Keith Byrne faces a spell in federal prison if he doesn't agree to leave the United States today.

He married an American woman in 2009 after overstaying his visa, but failed in his attempts to regularise his status.

Byrne was arrested by immigration agents last week in Pennysylvania.

He's been given the choice of signing a passport application and leaving, or staying in detention up to a year while he waits to appeal his case.

Mr Byrne's father Jim told Newstalk that he's not surprised the government here has refused to intervene.

Keith's wife Keren told Drivetime on RTÉ Radio yesterday described the ordeal as the "worst thing imaginable".

"We never considered that they would ever take him," she said.

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