Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Maze escapee Brennan losing battle against US deportation

Maze escapee Pol Brennan could be deported from America today having exhausted all options in his decades-long legal battle to remain in the country he has lived in for 25 years, both openly and incognito.

“We hope for the best but we’re prepared for the worst. Whatever happens, happens,” Mr Brennan told the Belfast Telegraph during a phone interview from the Port Isabel Detention center in Los Fresnos, Texas.

“I’m resigned to it. So it’s not bothering me as much as I thought it would,” he said.

US immigration authorities informed Mr Brennan 10 days ago that his scheduled deportation date was today.

The Ballymurphy native, who joined 37 IRA men in escaping the Maze in September 1983, then launched a last-ditch appeal for a special deportation waiver from US Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

The basis for the request is the “extreme hardship” his deportation will cause to his American wife of 20 years, Joanna Volz.

Ms Volz (63) won’t be able to accompany her husband to Ireland due to a long-standing commitment to care for her ailing 87-year-old mother in Texas.

Judge William Peterson, whose November 2008 deportation ruling against Mr Brennan was upheld by an immigration appeals court last month, found that Ms Volz’s plight would have normally earned her husband the right to stay in the US.

However, he said that her predicament was eclipsed by Mr Brennan’s illegal entry into the US in 1984, his purchase of a targeting pistol using an alias in the late 1980s and his 2006 misdemeanor assault conviction for fighting with a contractor who owed him money.

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