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Irish teenager brought to US when he was 12 to be deported for overstaying his visa

Dylan O’Riordan was born in Galway and brought to the US by his parents when he was 12. They already had green cards at the time.

Image: Shutterstock/Mark Van Scyoc

AN IRISH TEENAGER brought to the United States when he was younger by his parents is due to be deported back to Ireland this week.

American broadcaster NPR featured the story of 19-year-old Dylan O’Riordan on their All Things Considered show this week.

O’Riordan was born in Galway and brought to the US by his parents when he was 12. His parents already had green cards at the time.

He was brought over with them as part of the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), which allows people to stay in the US for up to 90 days.

O’Riordan overstayed the 90 days, and began to live his life as a typical American teenager – except that he wasn’t authorised to live there.

He had a child with his girlfriend Brenna, and started working for his uncle’s roofing company.

NPR reports that he arrested after getting into an argument with Brenna at a shopping mall in September. He was arrested for domestic assault.

Both Brenna and O’Riordan denied that assault had occurred and the state decided not to prosecute. He had no previous criminal record and was let go.

However, after he left his cell, officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were waiting for him and he was locked up.

O’Riordan now faces deportation back to Ireland this week.

In a statement to NPR, ICE said that O’Riordan had overstayed in the US by over seven years.

“Dylan O’Riordan … overstayed the terms of his admission by more than seven years. ICE deportation officers encountered him in September 2017 after he was arrested on local criminal charges. ICE served him with an administrative final order of removal,” the agency said.

Rights

O’Riordan’s lawyer - Tony Marino – said that he had been brought here when he was a child but said that ICE wouldn’t budge on their order.

“Their position has been, well, he waived whatever rights he had when he came,” says Marino,” he said.

NPR reports that while Haitians and Central Americans make up nine out of 10 people removed from the US, deportations to other countries around the world jumped by 24% over the past year.

In 2017, ICE deported 34 undocumented Irish a jump of eight on the previous year.

“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,” O’Riordan told NPR.

He was married to his partner Brenna while in jail. Brenna told NPR that she now intends to move to Ireland with their baby daughter to be with O’Riordan.

Read: Trump calls for ‘nuclear option’ in bid to end government shutdown in US

Read: Dozens of Venezuelans ‘stranded in Ireland’ as Maduro’s government fails to issue new passports

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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