Saturday 7 December 2019

'He has missed such big things in his baby's life' - Irish teen to be deported from US after overstaying his visa

Dylan O'Riordan's wife Brenna has called the situation 'heartbreaking'
Dylan O'Riordan's wife Brenna has called the situation 'heartbreaking'
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

An Irish teenager who is set to be deported from America this week after overstaying his visa has said that he should have paid more attention to Donald Trump.

Dylan O'Riordan (19) is set to be flown back to Ireland this week after he was caught overstaying his visa by seven years.

He was detained by immigration services after he was arrested for domestic assault and battery when he got into an argument with his now-wife Brenna in a shopping centre four months ago.

Dylan told National Public Radio: "It was nothing at all. Some woman called the cops, said I was abusing my girlfriend."

Brenna denied that she had been assaulted, he wasn't prosecuted but when he was freed officer from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained him.

Dylan was born in Galway but both of his parents had lived in the US and held green cards, the family moved to Boston in 2010 under the visa waiver programme, he overstayed his 90-day visa and lived undocumented there since.

He is being held at Suffolk County House of Corrections alongside 150 other men.

"They're like, are you supposed to be here? Like, you're basically American. You look American. You sound American.

Dylan O'Riordan is due to fly back to Ireland this week
Dylan O'Riordan is due to fly back to Ireland this week

"There's a lot of people from El Salvador, a lot of Guatemalans, couple of Haitian people, and I'm the only Irish in the whole facility.

"I was aware how with Trump immigration was going to get a lot harder, but I didn't pay as much mind to it as I should have, which was my first mistake," he said.

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His lawyer Tony Marino also told NPR that he was brought to America as a child.

He said: "Their position has been, well, he waived whatever rights he had when he came.

"Twelve-year-olds don't waive rights! I've never seen anything like it. I can't wrap my head around it."

Dylan and Brenna, who have a nine-month-old daughter together, tied the knot in the prison chapel last month.

Brenna opened up about how tough she has found the situation.

She said in an emotional Facebook post: "Dylan has an almost nine month old baby and he has missed such big things in her life, it’s truly heartbreaking.

"My husband and family don’t deserve to feel this way... He is the last person that deserves this."

She added: "Please help us fight to get him home because this is where he belongs."

Brenna plans to move with her daughter to Ireland so the family can be together and she hopes to help him to obtain a green card to return to the US legally.

There are an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish people in America.

Trump has vowed to crack down on the illegal immigration and the number of unauthorised Irish people deported from the US rose from 26 in 2016 to 34 last year.

The ICE office in Boston told NPR: "Dylan O'Riordan ... overstayed the terms of his admission by more than seven years. ICE deportation officers encountered him in Sept 2017 after he was arrested on local criminal charges. ICE served him with an administrative final order of removal."

An ICE spokesman told "For operational security reasons, the agency does not discuss specific removal arrangements prior to an individual’s successful repatriation."

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