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November 13, 2004

News 11/13/04 - Ciaran Ferry

Irish Northern Aid Committee
Political Action Alert
To: INAC Contact List
From: Gerry Coleman, INAC Political Education Dep’t.
HOMELAND SECURITY -- I. The Ruling; II. Statements; III.
Political Action; IV. Ciaran Ferry Committee Contact Info
Date: 12 November 2004


I. The Ruling:

Denver, 8 Nov 2004 : Judge Nottingham, United States District Court
of Colorado, ruled against Ciaran Ferry’s petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus. After waiting for over a year and a half, the Judge
ruled in favor of the Department of Homeland Security [HHS].

Ciaran's legal team will appeal and is approaching Department of
Homeland Security officials asking that Ciaran Ferry be released from
Denver County Jail to live with his family while the 10th Circuit
Court of Appeals decides his request to live in America.

Mr. Ferry’s legal team argued that the actions of the DHS denied his
constitutional right to due process by refusing him even a hearing on
his "green card" application; therefore, his detention was unlawful.
The case revolved around whether the DHS is required to prove, in a
court of law, that he was a "danger to the safety and security of the
United States." Apparently not.

The Court found that, as an entrant to the US under the Visa Waiver
Program ("VWP"), Ciaran waived all constitutional rights to due
process, regardless of how he was treated by the DHS, even though the
following were conceded by the Judge:

1. Ciaran Ferry was "granted an early release as part of the Good
Friday Accord."

2. He lawfully "entered the United States on the Bureau of
Inspections and Customs Enforcement's Visa Waiver Pilot Program."

3. He candidly disclosed on his "green card" application "that he
was a member of the Irish Republican Army from 1992 to 1993, and that
he was imprisoned for political offenses relating to the conflict in

4. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested
Ciaran "without a warrant," and informed him that they were arresting
him for "having overstayed his visa." This was not the case.

5. ICE placed Ciaran in the "Special Handling Unit" of the Federal
Corrections Institute {FCI} -- a facility "usually reserved for
dangerous criminals and those most at risk for escape."

6. The next day, on January 31, 2003, agents for the Federal Bureau
of Investigation visited Ciaran at FCI and "failed to recite the
Miranda warnings prior to their questioning of him, and they
questioned him despite the fact that they knew he was represented by

7. FCI did not permit Mr. Ferry to use the phone for his first
twenty-four hours in detention to call his attorney."

II. Statements

A. Ciaran’s Attorney, Eamonn Dornan

"The bottom line is that according to the ruling, Ciaran Ferry and
all immigrants who enter under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) have no
entitlement to due process rights. This is in stark contrast to
recent Supreme Court rulings granting such rights to enemy combatants
in Guantanamo Bay."

"According to Nottingham, anyone who enters under the VWP
relinquishes his/her constitutional rights including the right to due
process and to a bond hearing, regardless of whether or not the VWP
entrant is married to a US citizen.

"In our argument, it is irrelevant that Ciaran had entered under
the VWP scheme. Ciaran had clear and unfettered due process rights
streaming from his status as the spouse of a US citizen. The heart
and soul of our constitution provides that due process forbids the
government from ‘arbitrarily causing an alien who has entered the
country to be taken into custody and deported without giving him all
opportunity to be heard upon the questions involving his right to be
and remain in the United States.’

"This is the first time this issue has ever been raised in a US
court and this will have a resounding effect on every VWP alien, most
of whom are from Western democracies, and their US citizen spouses."

B. Jarl Anderson, Director of the Ciaran Ferry Legal Defense Fund

"This is negligence and cowardice on the part of Judge Nottingham
and confirms that the rule of law has been replaced by the rule of
fear. Ciaran Ferry could have thrown in the towel a long time ago,
but instead sacrificed his liberties to establish the constitutional
right of all immigrants, not just Irish, to due process. The justice
system has failed him and is paving the way for executive abuse of
power and individual liberty.

"Nottingham is washing his hands of Ciaran Ferry like Pontius
Pilot and wiping them on the Constitution."

C. Ciaran’s Wife

Heaven Ferry stated, "We are deeply saddened by this turn of events.
We've waited for over a year and a half for this decision only to
find that Judge Notthingham was not prepared or even slightly
inclined to give my husband justice. In all fairness, he could have
made his ruling in April 2003. If this is indicative of the US
Justice system, it's pretty frightening for all of us."

D. Deanna Turner, Coordinator of the Irish Deportees of America
Committee, visited Ciaran in jail 2 weeks ago

"We can only imagine what is going through Ciaran's mind at the
thought of spending another Christmas illegally behind bars. His 3
year old daughter, Fiona, desperately wants her father to be with her
when she opens up her Christmas presents and plays in the snow. The
thought of just spending cherished time with his wife and family gets
him through this awful ordeal.”

“In the spirit of the festive season, please lobby our government
to release Ciaran, under whatever restrictions it wishes, to spend
time with his family during what may well be their last Thanksgiving
and Christmas celebrations in America.”

III. Political Action Info

1. Urge Members of Congress and Senators to call Tom Ridge at THE
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY to request Ciaran Ferry be released
from jail pending appeal.
Mail: US Department of Homeland Security; Washington, D.C. 20528

Send a message on the Immigration section of the Department's Web

2.) Request MEMBERS OF CONGRESS & SENATORS to contact the new
ATTORNEY GENERAL, Albert Gonzales, about the Ferry case. All
Members of Congress and Senators can be accessed through the
congressional switchboard: 202-225-3121.

IV. Ciaran Ferry Committee Contact Info

For further information, or if you -- your Member of Congress or a
political leader, civil or human rights’ advocate, etc. --- are
interested in visiting Ciaran in jail [he is only allowed 2 visits
per week including family], contact the Irish Deportees of America
Committee to make arrangemens: a] P.O. Box 914, Farmington, MI
48332; b] web site:; c] email: ; and d] phone # 248-661-6989.

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