Cork man Keith Byrne arrested on his way to work in a Philadelphia suburb for being in the US illegally has been released from prison.
UPDATE: According to RTÉ Foreign Affairs correspondent Jackie Fox, Byrne has now been released, pending a hearing, and is on his way home with his wife, Keren.
It is reported that Byrne has been released temporarily for 30 days. He may seek a judicial review of his case during this time.
Keith Byrne has now been released from detention. His family just sent me this photo of him and his wife, Keren on the way home pic.twitter.com/aTEZGmt6jR— Jackie Fox (@jackiefox_) July 25, 2019
Keith Byrne has been released from prison after US federal judge Chief Judge Christopher Conner ordered ICE to release Byrne from detention.
Thomas Griffin, Byrne’s lawyer, told the Irish Times that the legal team "had won the first battle, and will continue to fight for Mr. Byrne’s legalization to allow him to remain in America.”
Byrne, 37, a father of three married to an American citizen who owns his own small painting business, has become a major story in Ireland. He is being pointed to as an example of Trump’s immigration crackdown gone wrong.
His legal team is arguing that Byrne’s application for a green card had been handled wrongly. He was blocked from receiving a marriage green card because of two misdemeanor marijuana possession fines in Ireland which he admitted to while applying.
Byrne “has never been a danger to the community and he is not a national security risk."
“With a family of US citizens who depend on him, home-ownership, and a successful tax-paying business, Mr. Byrne is not a flight risk," Griffin wrote in a letter to Simona Flores, director of enforcement and removal operations for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agency in Philadelphia.
“Mr. Byrne’s custody has already torn him from his family, and his US citizen wife Keren and his three US citizen children who are on the verge of a massive upending of their lives,” the letter notes.
“Mr. Byrne has consistently abided by the law, and has regularly paid business and personal taxes."
Griffin also stated that Byrne’s family may lose their home if he is deported as the mortgage is more than half of his wife Keren’s salary.
Keren, a cancer nurse, has been receiving support from hundreds of nursing colleagues and members of her hospital staff.
H/T: Irish Times