AN IRISH teenager is facing deportation within a matter of days - for overstaying his visa when he was 12.
Dylan O'Riordan, 19, and originally from Co Galway but now living in Boston, is currently being detained in Suffolk County House of Corrections.
It's understood Mr O'Riordan - who is married and has a 9 month old daughter - will be deported to Ireland between January 24-27.
President Trump announced in September 2017 that he would scrap DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - ending protection for people who were brought to the US as children.
Previously under the Obama administration DACA provided a reprieve to young immigrants from deportation and the ability to work legally in the US in the form of two-year, renewable work permits.
Speaking to All Things Considered on NPR earlier this week, Mr O'Riordan said: "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.
Prior to his birth, both of his parents had lived in Massachusetts and already had green cards.
In 2010, when Mr O'Riordan was 12, they brought him back to Boston on the visa waiver programme.
Mr O'Riordan overstayed the 90 day period, and began living his life 'like any other American teenager,' the station said, even though he was undocumented.
At the age of 19 he dropped out of high school and went to work for his uncle's roofing company to support his then-girlfriend Brenna and his infant daughter.
Four months ago, the couple were shopping when they got into an argument and although Brenna denied she was assaulted, Mr O'Riordan was arrested for assault and battery.
"It was nothing at all," he says. "Some woman called the cops, said I was abusing my girlfriend."
The 34 undocumented Irish deported in 2017 are a tiny number compared with the 128,765 Mexicans ejected, but in Boston's close-knit Irish community, the wave of arrests is big news. https://t.co/aFYlxwMJuD
— NPR (@NPR) January 22, 2018
The decision was taken not to prosecute and Mr O'Riordan had no prior criminal record, so the judge let him go.
However, when he walked out of the holding cell, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were waiting for him and he has been detained for four months now.
His lawyer, Tony Marino, points out that his client was brought here when he was a child, but ICE won't budge.
"Their position has been, well, he waived whatever rights he had when he came," says Mr Marino.
"Twelve-year-olds don't waive rights. I've never seen anything like it. I can't wrap my head around it."
In a statement to the radio station, ICE said: "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."
At the detention centre where he is confined with 150 other men in a section of the county jail, Mr O'Riordan told the station that other detainees are surprised he was arrested.
"They're like, 'Are you supposed to be here? You're basically American. You look American; you sound American.'"
"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."
The Boston ICE office said in a statement its agents are indiscriminate in whom they arrest and deport: "ICE is apprehending all those in violation of immigration laws regardless of national origin."