The family of Pol Brennan say that he will appeal a court ruling that he can be deported from the US.
In 1983 Brennan was among 38 IRA prisoners who escaped from the H-Blocks of Long Kesh prison and made his way to the US, where he settled and raised a family.
In 2000 the British government dropped its extradition case against Brennan and three others, who were known collectively as the H-Block 4. He was allowed to live and work in San Francisco pending a resolution of his residency status.
Brennan’s trauma began when he was seized by immigration officers while on holiday in Texas in January on the basis that his work permit had expired. He has now been imprisoned in Texas for almost a year.
After a hearing last month, his nephew Colm Brennan confirmed that his uncle had now been informed that his legal challenge against deportation had been rejected and that he could be deported at any time.
“Pol is very disappointed at the decision,” he said.
“He will appeal the decision to a higher court, but is very concerned that Homeland Security will try to deport him before he has a chance to appeal.
“He will now apply for bail to be with his wife and family while the appeals process is undertaken.
“The US authorities know that Pol is no danger to society as they have allowed him to live openly with his family in San Francisco for the last 10 years.
“We hope that even at this late stage Pol will be shown clemency.”