U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins has introduced a private bill seeking to aid Lawrence resident Syed Jamal in his legal fight to avoid deportation.
The bill, which the Republican congresswoman introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives, would make Jamal and his wife, Angela Zaynub Chowdhury, eligible to receive an immigrant visa or to adjust their status to permanent residency upon filing an application.
“Congresswoman Jenkins has been actively engaged with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), other federal agencies and the family on this matter from the moment Mr. Jamal’s family contacted our office,” spokesman Lee Modesitt said in an emailed statement to the Journal-World earlier Tuesday, before the bill was introduced.
Modesitt also said Jenkins worked with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, “to explore potential legislative options to assist Syed and his family.”
Cleaver has publicly spoken in support of Jamal, even visiting the Bangladeshi-born father and scientist this past weekend in a Texas detention facility. Earlier this week, Cleaver announced plans to advance special legislation that would seek to release Jamal from custody and secure his legal status, and, on Tuesday, he discussed Jamal’s case on the House Floor in Washington, D.C.
Jamal was still detained at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a Facebook post by his legal team, Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law. The post, dated around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, said Jamal’s attorneys were still awaiting an update on where he would be taken next.
More coverage: Syed Jamal deportation case• Feb. 14 — Immigration law expert explains rocky path to citizenship; for cases like Syed Jamal's, it's complicated
• Feb. 14 — Syed Jamal back in Kansas City area, but still detained, attorneys say
• Feb. 13 — Rep. Jenkins introduces bill that would assist Lawrence father Syed Jamal in deportation battle
• Feb. 12 — Board of Immigration Appeals grants new stay of removal for Syed Jamal
• Feb. 8 — Crowd marches downtown to support detained Lawrence scientist Syed Jamal
• Feb. 8 — Lawrence scientist Syed Jamal granted temporary stay of removal; judge's ruling on deportation expected within 10 days
• Feb. 7 — Brother worries Lawrence scientist could be deported within days; Kansas congressman ‘disturbed’ by prioritization of noncriminal case
• Feb. 6 — Mystery grows around pending deportation of longtime Lawrence resident; online protest petition tops 27,000 signatures
• Feb. 3 — Bangladeshi-born Lawrence scientist, father of 3 now facing deportation after 30-plus years in U.S.