Category: Archive

Brennan running out of time

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Brennan’s birthday gift was the kind he would like to return. It was news that that his appeal against deportation had been denied and that he had been served with an order of removal.
“The clock is ticking,” Brennan told the Echo from the Texas detention facility where he has been held for most of the time since he was first detained in January of last year.
“I am asking for people and organizations that have supported me in my fight to remain in the U.S. to write to the director of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, on my behalf,” Brennan said.
With his legal avenue close to exhaustion, Brennan is hoping that his case will be taken up at a political level.
In the meantime, he said, travel documents including an Irish passport were now in the hands of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We’re going to put in a request for a stay of deportation this week, or maybe next week,” Brennan said.
“I haven’t much time left. I really need some political action,” he said.
The Belfast native said that if a request for a stay is filed it would give him about twenty more days. After that, barring the desired political intervention, he would be packing his bags for a return to Ireland and forced separation from his American wife, Joanna Volz.
Brennan and his supporters estimate that legal fees arising from the filing could be in the region of $10,000.
A primary concern for Brennan and his supporters in recent days has been raising funds to cover such legal fees. Money was raised at a recent fundraiser in Arizona organized by the “Pol Brennan Support Group,” and similar events are being planned for Boston and New York.
“We raised about $2000 in Arizona but we need about four or five more fundraisers like that one,” Milwaukee-based Sean Maguire, a longtime friend of Brennan’s, said.
Brennan’s supporters are urging sympathetic individuals and organizations to contact politicians in Washington, not least President Obama and Vice-President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The political effort is aimed at persuading DHS director Napolitano to exercise her authority under section 212(d)(3)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and over-ride the decision of the Immigration Board of Appeal that went against Brennan.
The support group is also calling on people to contact members of the House of Representatives and Senate.
Late last November, a federal immigration judge ruled that Maze escapee Brennan should be deported from the U.S.
The now 56-year-old Brennan – his birthday was on May 1 – was one of 38 IRA prisoners who escaped from Long Kesh prison in 1983. He fled to the U.S. and lived for a time under a false name in the San Francisco area.
Brennan’s bid for at least bail has been unsuccessful since he was detained, this despite support from the Ancient Order of Hibernians and three U.S. congressmen who sent a letter to Napolitano’s predecessor, Michael Chertoff, urging release on bond pending resolution of deportation proceedings.
On January 27 last year, while driving with Joanna Volz, his American wife of 20 years, to visit friends in Texas, Brennan was detained at an immigration checkpoint because his U.S.-issued work permit had expired. While he had applied to renew the document, authorities had not sent it to him.
Anyone wanting to support Brennan in his effort to remain in the U.S. can call Mike Cleveland at (949)370-2970 or toll-free at (888)811-2184. The Brennan support group can be contacted at Mike@polbrennan.com or information@polbrennan.com.

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