The wife of an Irishman facing deportation from the United States says his arrest came without warning.

Keith Byrne, from Fermoy in Co Cork, was arrested in Philadelphia by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on Wednesday 10 July.

His wife Keren said that authorities have not contacted her since her husband's arrest and that she has not been told what is going to happen next.

The married father-of-three has been living in the US for 12 years and runs a painting business.

The 37-year-old entered the United States on a Visa Waiver Programme in 2007 and overstayed.

He subsequently got married in 2009.

His wife says at that point, they began the process of "adjusting his status" and that their applications have been turned down on numerous occasions.

The most recent refusal came earlier this year but Mrs Byrne said they had "no intention of accepting that".

Mr Byrne was arrested by immigration officers while on his way to work early on Wednesday morning.

Mrs Byrne said that she "didn't feel this was coming" but that she always "knew it was a possibility".

She said her husband is not a threat and not a criminal, emphasising that he runs a business, provides for his family and has "done nothing other than contribute to society".

"It's definitely very shocking," she said.

The Cork native is currently being held at the Pike County Correctional facility in Pennsylvania.

His wife said that Mr Byrne entered the United States legally and "did everything he was supposed to do".

He was previously convicted here in Ireland on a minor drugs possession charge, which Mrs Byrne says is the reason his applications to remain in the country have been denied.

She said he has been honest about his conviction, and "that's why they could find him so easily, we weren't hiding him".

In a statement, a spokesman for ICE told RTÉ News that Keith Byrne entered the United States in 2008 as a "non-immigrant" on a Visa Waiver Programme and "failed to depart the United States under the terms of his admission".

He added that Mr Byrne was arrested for "immigration violations" and was issued with a visa waiver removal order. "He is currently in ICE custody pending removal".