He has been married to an American woman since 2009.

Irishman Keith Byrne faces a spell in federal prison if he doesn’t agree to leave the United States today.

He married an American woman in 2009 after overstaying his visa, but failed in his attempts to have regularise his status.

However, Byrne was arrested by immigration agents last week in Pennysylvania.

He’s been given the choice of signing a passport application and leaving, or staying in detention up to a year while he waits to appeal his case.

Keith’s father Jim Byrne says he’s not surprised the Irish government has refused to intervene.

”It’s typical of Varadkar to say something like that, nothing would surprise me in that line.

”It goes back over the years they say that can’t comment on individual cases, which they can’t”, he said.