04 May 2012

US immigration to tackle Lord Black

US immigration officials in Miami have confirmed that they will take former media baron Lord Black into custody upon his release before his release to Canada.

US immigration

ICE have confirmed they will arrest Lord Black on his release, which could be as early as today.

Lord Conrad Black, arrested for fraud in 2007, could be released from custody as early as today but US immigration officials have said he will be arrested again immediately to be processed and deported, most likely to Canada.

Lord Black, 67, has been granted temporary residency in Canada, despite renouncing his citizenship there to take up a seat in the British House of Lords a decade ago but as he does not hold a US visa, he will not be permitted to remain in America legally upon his release.

"He will not be released onto the street," said Nestor Yglesias, a spokesperson for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "There is an ICE detainer on him."

Mr Yglesias said Lord Black would be taken to a detention centre upon his release, which is standard procedure for non-American criminals, before being deported, most likely to Canada, where he and his wife own a home in Toronto. Lord Black's case has attracted significant attention in Canada, where opposition politicians have criticised the move to grant him residency.

Lord Black paid CA$200 (£125) for a temporary permit which is valid until May 2013 but as he also holds British citizenship, many were unsure as to whether he would be deported there rather than his preferred destination.

Lord Conrad Black was sentenced to 78 months in prison in 2007 for his participation in an alleged multi-million fraudulent scheme. His firm, Hollinger Inc, previously owned newspapers and other media corporations in several countries.

After being offered a peerage in the House of Lords in 2001, then-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien forced Montreal-born Lord Black to renounce his Canadian citizenship.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.

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