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Kansas teen pens emotional letter urging ICE to reconsider deporting dad


Activists demonstrate against deportation during a protest outside the Jacob Javits Federal Building in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Activists demonstrate against deportation during a protest outside the Jacob Javits Federal Building in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency saw a number of immigrants being sent out of the US, resulting in large-scale hysteria as among them were primary breadwinners of the family and primary caretakers of small children.

Kansas-based Chemistry teacher Syed Ahmed Jamal is also the primary breadwinner of his family. But he is currently behind bars after the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested him last week.

Jamal, who has lived in Lawrence for more than 30 years after he came from Bangladesh on a student visa, was on temporary work visa when he was arrested. According to reports, he wasn’t allowed to say goodbye to his family before he was handcuffed and taken away.

Jamal’s arrest has come as a shock, and his neighbours have friends are trying their best to prevent his deportation. Recently, a letter-writing campaign was organised at a local  church in the hopes that notarized testimonials from the community would prevent his removal. A petition on Change.org went live on February 2.

Jamal’s son Taseen has also written a letter saying they might not see him again if he were to leave US soils.

“My name is Taseen Jamal, and my father has recently been arrested, taken to the Morgan County, MO, jail, and is being considered for deportation. My little brother cries every night, my sister can’t focus in school, and I cannot sleep at night. My mother is in trauma, and because she is a live organ donor, she only has one kidney, so the stress is very dangerous. She could die if he is deported. If my father is deported, my siblings and I may never get to see him again. He is an older man, and due to the conditions of his home country, he might not be able to survive.

“My father called us, and he was crying like like a little child because he was thinking about what would happen to us if he got deported.

“A home is not a home without a father.”

Trump’s first year of presidency saw a number of people who were previously allowed to stay in the US being targeted by the ICE.

Jorge Garcia, who lived in the US for three decades, was deported to Mexico in January. Garcia, who was brought to the US when he was 10, was not eligible for the  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme.

Lukasz Niec, a physician specialising in internal medicine at Bronson Healthcare Group in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was just five years old when he arrived in the US from Poland.In 1989, he became a lawful permanent resident. However, in January Niec was arrested by ICE agents. He was released on bond on February 1, more than two weeks after he was arrested.

These are just two examples. Quite a number of families who had established roots in the US and developed deep ties in the society have been ripped apart as part of Trump’s deportation policy.

According to a Human Rights Watch report, the number of people detained inside the US rather than at the border increased by 42 percent over last year and immigration arrests of people with no criminal convictions increased by nearly three times.

All in all, more than 226119 people were deported from the US in 2017, a result of the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts “to enforcing the law, upholding the integrity of our lawful immigration system, and keeping America safe.”